Re: (OPE-L) Re: Grossman

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Nov 08 2004 - 21:46:32 EST

At 9:00 PM -0500 11/8/04, Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM wrote:
>  > I cannot see what the so called 'provisional acceptance of Say's law' has
>>  to do with the Mattick quote. Say was dealing with  a world of
>>  appearances and
>>  provided an assertion of a superficial empirical nature. Marx made  the
>>  provisional assumption of the complete realisation of value from the
>>  commodity to the money form to the commodity form again to start  his
>>  reproduction constructs. The two were working and thinking in completely
>>  different ways.  Marx had enough contempt for Say and his law for anyone
>>  to realise that the methodology of each could never be reconciled ( unless
>>  of course one believes Marx didn't understand Say). Marx showed that the
>>  system cannot do what Say 'says' it could because the 'supply' of surplus
>>  value could not meet the 'demand' of accumulation.

Could it not be that the supply of surplus value would have been
forthcoming if the demand of accumulation had not weakened, perhaps
for psychological, bank related or political reasons?
Again not every crisis is caused by a shortage of surplus value.

>  Marx showed that
>>  the system set up 'demands' it couldn't itself meet, Say asserted that the
>>  system could go on for ever, hardly Marx's starting point.
>Paul B,
>Grossmann makes basically the same point when discussing Bauer's scheme:
>"... we saw that the neo-harmonists Hilferding, Bauer and others join the
>company of Tugan-Baranowsky in reproducing a version of J.B. Say's old
>proportionmality theory in order to prove that capitalism contains unlimited
>possibilities of development" (_The Law of the Accumulation and Breakdown
>of the Capitalist System_, Pluto Press, p. 67).
>The confusion in this thread may be caused by Rakesh's expression
>'provisional acceptance of Say's Law'.

I'll check later but I think Bernice Shoul used the expression in her
reconstruction of Marx's and Grossman's respective works. Perhaps in
the essay on Karl Marx and Say's Law (Quarterly Journal of Economics,
1957?--David Yaffe refers to this essay, Paul B); perhaps in her 1947
Radcfliffe dissertation to which Jerry very helpfully pointed  me.


>   Neither Grossmann nor Mattick
>(nor Marx) provisionally accepted Say's Law.   Rather, Grossmann's
>critique of Bauer could also be seen as a _critique of_ Say's Law.  The
>important point here is that Grossmann simply began his critique of
>Bauer's reproduction schemes by taking Bauer's own numbers and
>attempted to demonstrate different results from Bauer.  To start out
>such an effort by supposing that _initially_ there are no realization
>problems and that S = D does _not_ mean that he was accepting --
>provisionally or otherwise -- Say's Law.
>In solidarity, Jerry

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