[OPE-L:7182] Re: fundamentalism

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Wed May 15 2002 - 21:16:06 EDT

David Y wrote in [7l73]:

>  I regarded their criticism's as fundamentally dishonest 
and saw no purpose in responding to them.  For myself 
I believe Marxism has to be put to the service of a new 
revolutionary movement and there is little point in forever 
going over the old debates for the sake of it. <

OK, well I can appreciate that position.  The only problem,
though, is that F&H's works are still read and do have some
limited influence.  

Paul B in [7l67] wrote that Harris had described the position of 
Paul and yourself  -- without even an attempt at justification --
as "Keynesian"   I know you don't want to go over old debates,
but you might be interested in the following gems from Ben 
Fine in "Recent Developments in Marxist Economic Theory"
in Gerd Hardach, Dieter Karras and Ben Fine _A Short History
of Socialist Economic Thought  (NY, St. Martin's Press,  l978,
Ch. 5):

In the first selection FINE, citing your joint article "Inflation, Crisis
and the Post-War Boom" (_Revolutionary Communist_, 3/4, 
November, l975) refers to the both of you as KEYNESIANS *AND*

"Those who argue the validity of the law of the TRPF by 
asserting the dominance of the tendency over the counteracting
tendencies view the current recession in terms of the particular
response by capital to the inevitable working of the law. In
particular, the state is seen as being compelled to expand
expenditure to maintain employment for political stability. 
The result of this is a further diminution in the surplus value
available for distribution to capitalists as profits, and inflation
as the state expands its credit to finance its expenditure.
Inevitably, the crisis is only postponed by these manoeuvres.
Again, we can see that *a Keynesian analysis has been 
adopted (together with a Keynesian view of the role of the
state to maintain full employment)*  with the (false) presumption
that state expenditure will increase employment even though
profitability has been affected.  In addition, a *monetarist theory
of inflation* has been utilized with the (false) presumption that
the state predominantly appropriates resources through 
over-expansion of the money supply" (p. 76, emphasis with
color added.)

In the next quote, FINE, citing David's article "The Marxian Theory
of Crisis, Capital and the State" (_Economy and Society_ 2.2,
l973),  refers to the E&S article as an "extreme version of" 
NEO-RICARDIAN  "analysis":

"The second interpretation of the law [of the TRPF, JL] is the 
one that insists on its validity by reworking Marx's analysis of the 
rising organic composition of capital but continues by asserting
the dominance of the tendency over the counteracting tendencies
rather than theorizing the contradictory interaction of the two. In
this light, *such a view  can be considered to be an extreme
version  of the neo-Ricardian analysis* in which distributional
struggle, increases in the rate of exploitation and decreases in 
the value of capital are considered *dogmatically* to be of 
secondary significance relative to the TRPF.  Thus, the simple
interaction of the two tendencies as a sum must lead to an 
actual fall in the rate of profit
   These two apparently opposing interpretations of the law
["the first Neo-Ricardian interpretation"  and David's, JL]
then have much in common and consequently have stunted
rather than developed Marxist theory" (p. 74, emphasis again 
added with color.)

I can see why you wouldn't want to answer these charges. 
I wonder:  was Fine a member of another (rival) political
party at the time?  Perhaps there was an unspoken political
agenda that he was pursuing in feeling the apparent need to
distort your positions.   Thus, perhaps, the two of you were
attacked because of your own political associations?  I'm
just speculating, of course: I just don't understand what is 
going on here. Do you?

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sun Jun 02 2002 - 00:00:07 EDT