[OPE-L:7152] Re: Re: 'Quaderni di Operai Contro' (Vitale) v. Paolo Giussani (fwd)

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Sat May 11 2002 - 06:33:44 EDT

Dear Jerry,

	I hope I can answer in the following days when I'll find the 
time to some the other mails in this stream, and also to some of the 
points of content in this one.

	May I however suggest that this by Giussani TOO is a way NOT 
to debate? As it is clear from the whole letter by Giussani, it is 
made up of a 'battle' against imagined enemies, in the form of NOT 
wanting to engage in dialogue, debate, opposition with them, and with 
insults which are expressed in the form of distrust againt the others 
(I myself, for one, have read most of Giussani's papers, know that he 
is not a follower of TSS, have learned from him a lot, as I've 
learned from TSS people, without agreeing with all of their points of 
course: he presupposes the opposite).

	Just some examples:

- I am classified, as others, as a  "keynesian-sraffian" side: I am 
not (this can be shown referring to writing in Italian AND in 
English. May be Giussani, or TSS people (who hold the same charge: 
Carchedi did the same in a paper in Italian a couple of years ago, in 
the first version he made it, correctly, by name, I privately 
answered, he changed the paper so that there were no name, a thing 
which, against Giussani, I find wrong, now I see from a footnote in 
the book by Vitale that in that paper where all the reference to me 
were cancelled was criticising my positions ...) should  recognize 
this. But they don't, of course. Of course, if I think there is 
something worthwhile in Keynes, or in Sraffa (and by the way, I 
thgink that Sraffa's was a comrade, who never wanted to speak against 
the labour theory of value, and say that there is the labour theory 
of value implicitly in Production of commodities, I immediately 
become a Sraffian or a Keynesian. Since I find something worthwhile 
in Schumpeter (btw, much more than in Sraffa or Keynes), and even in 
Mises and Hayek, please call me a 
keynesian-sraffian-schumpeterian-austrian (KSSA). It seems that I do 
not qualify as a Marxian. I can live with that, though I'll always 
say the opposite.

- Giussani refers to "hate" and "social position": funny. Do you find 
this way of expressing it much better than Vitale? Do you understand 
it? I have no hate against him, and I don't understand the reference 
to "social position" (may be the same meaning as in Vitale, I.e. he 
refers as a criticism to the fact that somebody is an University 
professor: I confess, without any pride, that I am a non-algebraic 
academic ultra-heterodox Marxian: NAAUHM. so I am a KSSANAAUHM). I am 
sure that Vitale would agree with Giussani's words here. At the same 
time, as I said, I find Vitale's way of attacking personally by name 
much more transparent. And since we happily do not leave in places 
were Marxists won, I do not fear anything from the heat of words. The 
only point is: do you have the possibility to answer? [by the way: I 
would be happy to know where Giussani's answers to Vitale appeared, I 
would like to read them]

- I, as many comrades, built a study group outside University with 
workers, high-shool teachers, etc. a group studying Capital, but 
differently from most other comrades studying this kind of stuff I 
never constructed the group to educate 'followers' of my position, so 
that most of the people in this group were, and are, more convinced 
by TSS people or by Giussani or by Moseley, in short by truly 
orthodox positions (though of course TSS would not recognize Fred as 
orthodox, as Fred would not recognize Sweezy as orthodox, etc.) and I 
encouraged them to read this orthodox literature.

- I organised a conference in 1994 on Marx, and I was happy to invite 
Carchedi (I invited him to another one later on, and I would be happy 
to do that in the future), and I'm happy to accept all of the TSS 
people who wanted to intervene, and also I would have been happy to 
have in 1994 Gianfranco Pala (another one 'insulted' by Vitale, and 
who made a wonderful job on the transformation which is one of my 
reference-point, and who has a mastery on Sraffa's writings much 
better than most of other Marxists) and Giussani. I would know be 
happy to have a seminar by Giussani in the Bergamo Dept, and would 
have been happy to have him at the conference in 1994 (I tried to 
reach him).

- Giussani says, and this should mean something, that that he has 
"nothing to do" with me. Probably you understand his point. I do not.

	Unfortunately, I still find interesting Giussani as Vitale.

	By the way: I think that discussing Desai's book is much more 
relevant that all the stuff OPE-L were discussing in the past. But of 
course I fear that people would immediately start criticising the 
book because of its theoretical and political way of putting 
argument, and because it wants to be provocative, or may be because 
now Desai is a Lord, or because of the twist of his political 
positions in  the Labour Party. In my view, Desai's book, though 
obliquely, put forward the real issue now. Marx thought that the 
'natural' development of capitalism, includings its tendency to 
globalization, creates its own grave-diggers, homogeneised and 
united. The end of XXth century shows the opposite: capital's 
accumulation going on, and the tendency to division winning over the 
tendency towards unification. This seems to me a much bigger problem 
than the transformation, even if this latter would have been 
perfectly resolved in the Master oeuvre. But I must be wrong, since I 
am a keynesian-sraffian.

	I am really sad I answered your letter about Vitale's. 
Probably I expressed badly my feeling that we should stop go on 
looking at the appearence of 'etiquette', or Sprach-Ethik if you 
wish, and should move forward to a more substantial respect, which 
means taking seriously the most further away from us of our 
opponents, first of all looking at what he is actually saying (and 
this, Rakesh, does not mean simply that the 'other' has to explain 
himself/herself clearly, it means also that we have to pay attention 
and that we should avoid to picture him without considering his/her 
own self-represention).


At 20:51 +0000 10-05-2002, glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu wrote:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: "Paolo Giussani" <106642.534@compuserve.com>
>Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 20:30:53 +0200
>Subject: Re: [OPE-L:7136] 'Quaderni di Operai Contro'  (Vitale) v. 
>Paolo    Giussani 
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu>
>To: <106642.534@compuserve.com>
>Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 7:21 PM
>Subject: Fw: [OPE-L:7136] 'Quaderni di Operai Contro' (Vitale) v. 
>Paolo Giussani
>>  Paolo:  See enclosed OPE-L post. Riccardo B wrote a post in response.
>You'll be able to read it at our archives tomorrow:
>>  http://ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu/~cottrell/ope/archive
>>  Regards, Jerry
>>  ----- Original Message -----
>>  From: gerald_a_levy
>>  To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
>>  Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 9:07 AM
>>  Subject: [OPE-L:7136] "Quaderni di Operai Contro" (Vitale) v. Paolo
>>  For a good extreme example of how Marxists should
>>  *NOT*  debate issues in political economy see:
>>  http://www.asloperaicontro.org/inglese/debate.htm
>>  where you can download articles from l997-l998 by
>>  A. Vitale -- debating former listmember Paolo Giussani --
>>  from the journal "Quaderni di Operai Contro".
>>  Note the following expressions, from Vitale's articles:
>>  *  "systematic demolition of his (Paolo's, JL) position";
>>  * "personal hysteria" ;  "foolishness" ; "his haughtiness,
>>  arrogance and presumption"; "his hysterical spite" ;
>>  * "reactionary anti-workers rage";   "belonging to Milan
>>  reactionary petty bourgeoisie";
>>  * "collection of absurdities"; "anti-workers pieces of foolery";
>>  * "based in the vulgar economics"; "the spokesman of the
>>  social capital";
>>  * "understood quite nothing of the concept of value discovered
>>  by Marx, as a consequence he knows little or nothing about the
>>  way in which exchange takes place";
>>  * Paolo G is described as "The thinker" ; "The technologist";
>>  "a petty researcher" ; "a petty professor", "doctor Giussani";
>>  "a very appreciated item  on anti-worker thinkers' market";
>>  * "a doctor of Algebraic Marxism"
>>  and:
>>  * "A boot-licker, no offense meant".
>>  (Paolo G, btw, left the list last Fall.)
>>  Are Vitale's remarks representative of how some groups on the
>>  Italian Left debate issues associated with political economy?
>  >
>>  Can anyone think of any "better" examples of how to *not*
>>  debate political economy in recent history?
>>  What accounts for this level of maliciousness? Couldn't Vitale
>>  have made all of his basic points _without_ resorting to personal
>>  abuse and extreme dismissive comments?
>>  In solidarity, Jerry
>Dear Jerry,
>I am really surprised in seeing that you are giving some kind of weight to
>the stuff produced by people like Vitale. All the more so since you can't
>know what happened here some years ago: I simply protested against a public
>meeting he and his
>sect hold against three persons BY NAME. My protest was against the fact
>that a public meeting directed not against ideas but against some person was
>allowed by the people managing the institution (a leftist place open to
>everybody who needed it for conferences, meetings etc) where the meeting was
>hosted. What followed (a mere series of insults) was only the consequence of
>my protest.
>Now, since you, Bellofiore and Cottrells belong to the keynesian-sraffian
>side may feel a bit pleased (especially Riccardo Bellofiore, with whom I
>have never had anyhting to do) seeing someone able to insulte people who you
>see or believe as belonging to the "other" side (fundamental marxism or TSS
>or whatever. Just for your information: I don't belong to any side and never
>show up, as everybody knows very well, and have aboslutely nothing to do
>with the kind of group created by Freeman, Kliman etc). But, believe me it
>is something very far from being honorable from your side.
>PS1 Please don't expect a another word on this dirty matter from me, of
>course. This the beginning and the end of all it.
>I have only to inform you all (but especially Bellofiore) that Vitale's goal
>(the 78% of whose writings are on average  made by Marx's quotations: I made
>myself the measure) was actually to defend Marx's works "word by word"
>against myself and other bad revisionists, and that his first "work" (so to
>speak), that you don't know -I suppose, was a booklet on Sraffa made of a
>long series of insults to Sraffa, of course. Bellofiore, who has not read my
>replies to Vitale but finds "very interesting what he says": this is really
>unbelievable: hate and/or social positions can do a lot -I must say), has
>chosen a very strange ally whom to teach some piece of style to master the
>art to hide insults beneath a respectable form like all western properly
>civilized gentleman should be do and which is one the essences of academic
>everyday life.
>PS2 Jerry, I understand that you may wonder why I no longer am a member of
>Ope-L. This has absolutely nothing to do with Freeman or the TSS or anything
>like that. Only with the fact that I am not interested to the contents of
>Ope-L. The are just not useful for my work.  So long.

Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
e-mail:   bellofio@unibg.it, bellofio@cisi.unito.it
direct	  +39-035-277545
secretary +39-035 277501
fax:	  +39 035 277549
homepage: http://www.unibg.it/dse/homebellofiore.htm

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