[OPE-L:7280] Re: interpreting Marx's texts

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Wed May 29 2002 - 08:37:39 EDT

Fred wrote in [7279]:

> No, I don't think Hilferding and Bukharin gave adequate responses to this
> critique.  If I did, I wouldn't be working on this issue.

Then, what about David Y?  In [7266] you wrote that David and you
essentially agree on the response to the criticism of logical contradiction.
Didn't David, from your perspective, give an adequate response in his May
l976  article "Value and Price in Marx's Capital" (_Revolutionary Communist,
#l, 2nd edition: available online now at
http://www.rcgfifi.easynet.co.uk/marxism/articles ) ?

> First of all, Hilferding responded to Bohm-Bawerk's critique of Marx, but
> not to Bortkeiwitz's critique.  Bohm-Bawerk's critique of the
> contradiction between Marx's theory of surplus-value in Volume 1 and his
> theory of prices of production in Volume 3 is weak, and so is Hilferding's
> reply.  Bohm-Bawerk's main critique is of Marx's derivation in Chapter 1
> of Volume 1 of labor as the common property of commodities that determines
> their exchange-values.  Hilferding's response to this more important
> critique is also weak and inadequate.

There was nothing in von Bortkiewicz's critique that wasn't said first,
stronger and in more detail by Bohm-Bawerk.   Let us recall that
Bohm-Bawerk was and remains better known and, in addition to publishing
his article in l896 --  nine years before von Botkiewicz's shorter article
was published, his article was  published in English in l898 whereas von
Bortkiewicz's l907 article only appeared in English in l949 (52 years later)
with Sweezy's  translation.

> I don't know what Bukharin had to say about critiques of Marx's theory of
> prices of production.  Jerry, could you please tell us?  I doubt if it was
> an adequate answer.  I imagine that, at best, it was similar to
> Hilferding's answer.  I doubt if Bukharin responded at all to
> Bortkeiwitz's critique.

Bukharin's book is a critique of marginalism rather than being focused on
the TP.  This is, in a sense, a stronger response since it purports not
merely  to reply to the criticisms of Marx-critics but to critique their
school of  thought.

> That is why I think more work needs to be done on this issue.  Because a
> satisfactory response to this critique of Marx' s theory has not yet been
> given, or at least has not yet been fully developed.

Note the tense of your reply.  You wrote above that "more work needs to
be done"  and that a "satisfactory response" has "not been given, or at
least  has not yet been fully developed".  Yet, I thought you claimed that
you  _had_ (past tense)  given a response to the charge of internal
inconsistency in  Marx.  What do  you now recognize is not entirely
satisfactory about _your_  response and what  has not been fully developed?
Wouldn't it then be fair  to say, *from your  perspective*, that you feel
that  the charges of internal  inconsistency in Marx  have *still* not been
satisfactorily developed?  That  sounds like a "step backwards" to me.

In solidarity, Jerry

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