(OPE-L) Re: White and Luxemburg

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 18 2004 - 14:21:28 EST

Hi Paul Z:

> Compare Luxemburg's *Introduction to Political Economy*.  She doesn't get
> to "Commodity Production" until her six chapter!  Her long third chapter
> is "Elements of Economic History: Primitive Communism" and used some of
> the exact same source materials as Marx was reading.  (Marx, Luxemburg and
> White all read Russian.  Incidentally, half of Luxemburg's third chapter
> is now translated into English in *The Rosa Luxemburg Reader*, edited by
> Peter Hudis and Kevin B. Anderson, Monthly Review, 2004, pp. 71-110.)
> Luxemburg goes on to feudalism and the guilds.

Wasn't  "Introduction to Political Economy"  a popular pamphlet based
on her lectures at the Party (SPD) school?  As such, it seems misguided
to compare its internal structure to that of _Capital_.  Perhaps a
comparison to _Value, Price and Profit_ might be more relevant.

What did Luxemburg identify as her aim in the "Introduction"?   Did
she  identify  her "ultimate aim" in the same way as Marx did in the
July, 1867  "Preface to the First Edition" of Volume One of

Even within the context of a systematic dialectical presentation,
moreover, the subject of primitive accumulation could come first
*if* it was understood to be a historical preface prior to the
presentation of the theory.  That is, it could be taken in that
context to be a preface that comes before the actual starting point of
the dialectical presentation.  (I am reminded of an introductory
economics textbook that _begins_ with economic history and only
afterwards moves to the presentation of the theory.) Similarly,
one could have included it  as an "Appendix"  or a lengthy footnote
or relegated it to a possible continuation.

If I were teaching a short, introductory class to Party members, I
might also begin with the "easy stuff" -- economic history.

In solidarity, Jerry

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