[OPE-L:6580] Re: Re: Re: RE: Re: * poll: who has advanced political econ om y since Marx? *

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 21:58:55 EST


Your message [OPE-L:6567] replying to Paul B. contains a number of points
that either require clarification or correction, but I'm afraid I would try
the patience of other listmembers were I to offer all I had to say.  I
will, however, make a few notes below to indicate where I'd make

Christopher Arthur <cjarthur@waitrose.com> said, on 02/12/02:
>... There is nothing whatever in Volume Two of Capital  on if and how 
>capital might extend itself geographically. ...

Yes, Marx's *Capital* assumes that the capital/wage-labor relation is
already universal.

>Furthermore there is nothing in it on
>how capital originally developed; it is solely concerned with how capital
>accumulates once it is fully developed and self-enclosed. Unfortunately
>then, it was useless to the Russians in assessing their conditions.
> Lenin did not even try to base himself on Volume Two. 

Yes and no.  He surely thought the schemes important in confronting what he
considered the errors of the Narodniks. For example, in one place Lenin
claims that the schemes demonstrate an important point of his: "realization
is due more to means of production than to articles of consumption -- this
is obvious from Marx's Schemes" (Lenin, "Reply to Mr. Nezhdanov", Vol. 4,
p. 162).  

Lenin's statement just quoted is actually false and Lenin himself said so
in his 1893 "Market Question" paper (which only got published in 1937) --
"From Marx's scheme quoted above the conclusion cannot be drawn that
department I predominates over department II: both develop in parallel

>His arguments on if
>and how capitalism could develop in Russia are independent of it. However
>a certain misreading of the schemes of reproduction, made famous by Rosa
>Luxemburg, did have some relevance. 

The fault is not Luxemburg's but in the readers of Luxemburg (or, more
likely, those buying into some other's assertions about Luxemburg -- she is
rarely read with real care).  I have a 40+-page paper on how she was
distorted by Bukharin and by many thereafter from a number of tendencies in
Marxism -- see "Rosa Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital*: Critics try to
Bury the Message", *Bringing Capitalism Back for Critique by Social
Theory*, *Current Perspectives in Social Theory*, Volume 21, Jennifer M.
Lehmann, editor, JAI/Elsevier, New York, 2001, pp. 3-45.  An earlier paper
of mine  in the process of a separate investigation discusses her immediate

>If one can believe Lenin's account,
>Krasin anticipated Luxemburg in arguing that the restricted purchasing 
>power  of its own workers forced capital to search out external markets;

This is written as if she were an underconsumptionist, which she was not.

>these could either  be foreign markets or rooted in the non-capitalist
>sector of a given country. Krasin drew up a two-sector model of Russia in
>this spirit ('Market Question' p.90).  As Lenin observed, in his paper on
>'The Market Question', this view neglects the strength of the internal
>market for capital goods, which powers the economy nicely, at least during

"which powers the economy nicely" -- Luxemburg objected (my reading of her
is in my paper).

>But the main isue was whether the capitalist sector could or could not
>overwhelm the non-capitalist sector. The schemas are useless for this.

Luxemburg HIGHLIGHTED the limitations of the schemes.

>Lenin's arithmetical example of how capitalism DEVELOPS do not rely on the
>schemas for the simple reason these discuss ALREADY developd

Marx's *Capital* assumes that the capital/wage-labor relation is already
universal, but there are certain limitations in Lenin's Vol. 1 'Market
Question' paper which do not immediately catch the eye.  I've worked up a
draft, but do not consider this work a finished product.

Paul Z.

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