Re: (OPE-L) Re: Which label: neo-Ricardian, surplus approach, or linear production theory?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Thu Dec 04 2003 - 12:41:11 EST

>Rakesh wrote:
>>  >I don't see the relevance of the rest of your post.  You seem to be
>>  >asserting that surplus approach theorists are social democratic.
>>  >This is an unwarranted assertion.
>>  I don' think so. The exception is a Sweezy. People like Bhaduri and
>>  Pollin are typical.
>I think you are confusing two quite different intellectual traditions: the
>surplus approach school and the Baran-Sweezy (MR) school.  Bob
>Pollin is not a surplus approach theorist.

I think he implicity is as is Michael Reich.

>>  I would imagine that these theorists were not in fact surplus
>>  approach thinkers but were interested in Sraffian work only insofar
>>  as it was a immanent critique of neo classical economics, not a
>>  critique of Marx.
>Actually, the focus of their written work was more on explaining
>trends within contemporary capitalism rather than on Sraffa's critique
>of  marginalism.  A prominent example from that period was
>_British Capitalism, Workers and the Profit Squeeze_ by Glyn and
>    Some of these people also participated in debates on such
>topics as productive labor, domestic labor, the TRPF, etc (these
>were mostly 'pre-Steedman' debates).

So Glyn is a Sraffian? OK.  Isn't he like Bhaduri and Marglin an
exponent of a social democratic reform of capitalism, a creation of a
cooperative capitalism? Again Bhaduri is to be admired because he
clarifies that the synthesis of Sraffa-Kalecki implies social
democratic politics, not Marxian politics. The question is, then,
whether he is correct that the synthesis logically and necessarily
points in that political direction rather than a Marxian one. And I
think that he is. Now Henwood, Devine and many others say that social
democracy cannot work because full employment will not be politically
tolerated. But I already responded to this a long time ago in reply
to Allin. This point only implies a need for a corporatism by which
wage demands can be restrained in the approach to full
employment--wage demands would not have to be crushed, only
restrained. Indeed this is exactly what Pollin calls for on the basis
of the success of the Swedish social democratic party in achieving
full employment and low inflation for forty years. He calls for
social democratic corporatism, and that seems indeed to be the
political implication of the Sraffian/Kaleckian synthesis. At least
that's what Bhaduri thinks follows politically  from the S-K

>>  But you seem to be denying that there are important contradictions
>>  between Marxian theory and Sraffian theory.
>Surplus approach theorists would be the first to admit that there
>are important contradictions between their perspectives and that of

Yes they would.

>  You seem to be suggesting above that Sraffian theory and
>Marxian theory are counter-posed which is a position which suggests
>an _identity_ between Marx's theory and Marxian theories.

Your point?

>>  You want everyone to get
>>  along and cooperate and be nice to each other.
>No.  I want criticism to be fairly leveled at different theoretical

What you think is fair others may not. I did not find your criticism
of some TSS theorists fair at all.
I did not find your responses to me on the question of slavery very
fair minded,  either.
So I don't think you're fair minded as certainly others don't think I am.
I didn't find Gary's criticism of TSS very fair either.
No comment on Gil's response to me about my criticism of his chapter
5 critique.

>  I also think that heterodox economists can _learn_
>from each other which is rather hard to do if the focus is only on
>"sharpening differences."

This is naive. People are defending their turf against encroachments.
The world is not Habermasian; we're not on our way to consensus in an
ideal speech situation. There will be conflict, warring schools of
I must say that I find your (and Michael P's) fear of that being
expressed on  repressive.
Conflict and splits are healthy in my opinion. On that I know I have
Marx on my side. Read his critiques of other socialisms--the relevant
sections in the CM, Poverty of Philosophy,  Critique of the Gotha
Program, Drapers's fourth volume.

In conflict,

>In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Dec 05 2003 - 00:00:01 EST