[OPE-L:6558] Re: Lenin & Schemas

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 20:58:39 EST

Alejandro Ramos <aramos@btl.net> said in [OPE-L:6556], on 02/11/02:

>Re: Paul Bullock's 6555:
><excerpt>I know of no other independent application of the schemas as a  
>political response...

>You may be forgetting here the *political* use Tugan-Baranowsky did of the
>schemas in order to argue that capitalism would be a self replicating
>entity, founding a tradition which started to crop up with Bortkiewicz and
>reached its peak with Okishio, Morishima et al. and still is healthy and
>alive with us.

    Alejandro's point is of course absolutely correct.  PERHAPS one can say
that Lenin was the first to use Marx's schemes (being written in Russian in
1893), but Lenin's usage was both unpublished and unknown to almost
everyone (until published in 1937).  Tugan's use of the schemes was
published in Russian in 1894 (but written perhaps in 1893, I don't know)
and became quite well-known in that edition and was the edition Lenin
refers to in his later 1890s works.  (Luxemburg uses and refers to Tugan's
German, and much revised, 1901 edition which was the edition generally
known among Marxists.)

>A point I think would deserve more clarification and research is the
>Lenin-Tugan theoretical relationship. For example, how many people have
>read the 1st edition of Tugan's book on England Crises and compare it with
>Lenin early works? And, in particular, how far was actually Lenin from
>Tugan? Where are Lenin's critiques to the neo-physiocratic theory of value
>Tugan presents in the 2nd edition of his book on England Crises, and in
>Theoretische Grundlagen des Marxismus? I have no response to these
>questions but I do have some reserves about "Lenin amazing capacity to
>take Marx and apply the  critical ideas provided by him."

    Rosdolsky sees a lot of commonalities between Lenin and Tugan, even
though Rosdolsky had only the 1901 edition of Tugan.  I have the 1894
Russian (and 1st) edition used by Lenin, but haven't been able to update
yet our understanding of Lenin v. Tugan.  To his credit, Tugan in 1901
seems to take account of certain objections made by Lenin to his 1894 work. 
In any case, I'm sure it is a contested territory and Lenin's economics has
appeared to me to be LESS deep and MORE polemical the deeper one gets into
it.  For example, Lenin NEVER uses Marx's concept of the production of
relative surplus value and adopts, when called for, a rather Smith-based
interpretation of technological change.  For example, Lenin is MUCH MORE
critical of Sismondi and LESS CRITICAL of Ricardo than was Marx.  This is

    Bottom line: I used to have a view of Lenin's economics similar to Paul
Bullock's.  But I'm much more jaundiced now, and have given Lenin's
economics special attention in a draft paper.  Thus, I share Alejandro's
reservations concerning the Lenin's economics.

Paul Z.

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