[OPE-L:7186] Re: Re: fundamentalism

From: dashyaf@easynet.co.uk
Date: Thu May 16 2002 - 08:16:23 EDT


Fine was a member of the Communist Party of GB ( now defunct), which, at 
the time,  had long given up any revolutionary claims. But primarily he is 
an academic and his recent contributions demonstrate this. I think your 
quotes from him on our work made it abundantly clear that a reply would be 
undignified as well as a waste of time.

In the present situation, I would hope that serious students of Marxism who 
are concerned with building a revolutionary movement would look at our 
contemporary writings - an application of the ideas developed over the 
1970s to the developing world situation today.

David Yaffe

At 21:16 15/05/02 -0400, you wrote:
>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

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