Re: (OPE-L) Luxemburg's Intro to P.E. in English

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Thu Nov 18 2004 - 07:15:58 EST

At 23:05 -0800 17-11-2004, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

>But her interpretation is in fact confused, and on the face of it
>contradictory. One can see the basis of Henryk G's criticism. On the
>one hand, she underlines that Marx rejected soap box
>underconsumptionism; moreover, she repudiates it on political grounds
>as she cannot allow for the possibility of stabilization through
>income redistribution.  On the other hand, she explains crisis as the
>result of production outstripping consumption!  Moreover, as she
>focuses with brilliant clarity on market related difficulties,
>Luxemburg leaves undiscussed Marx's theory of the law of the tendency
>of the rate of profit to fall despite the great importance that Marx
>gave to it. In this sense it cannot be recommended as a summary of
>the second and third volumes of Das Kapital, though this is what this
>section claims to be. One wonders what she has to say about the third
>volume of Das Kapital in her Introduction book. Not to be missed is
>Mehring's own summary of the 1859 Critique. Very beautifully and
>lucidly written, I would say.

She says nothing about the third volume in the remaining chapters of Intro.

My impression about RL is that she is not to be judged from the
analytical solutions she provided. Rather, she saw her superiority to
9% of contemporary and future Marxists in:

- her attitude: Marx as an author to be criticized and developed with
an open spirit

- her questions: she saw problems on monetary aspects and effective
demand to which others were blinded

- her good intuition: not to bet on the law of the tendency of the
rate of profit to fall, and not to see in the tranformation problem
something fundamental for Marxism

If we look at the answers, we can go with Bukharin or Sweezy or
anybody who quickly jettisoned her. If we look at the attitude and
questions we may see why she was so interesting for Kalecki and

A joint reading of the Intro and the AoC help to reinstate what in
Kalecki and Robinson may be missing. The essential role of the
Marxian theory of value seen as a dynamic/diachronic approach to
shape distribution, disproportionality crises, effective demand


Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
direct    +39-035-2052545
secretary +39-035 2052501
fax:      +39 035 2052549

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