Re: [OPE-L] (OPE-L) Robinson and Marx

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Mon Dec 06 2004 - 07:24:11 EST

At 11:05 -0800 25-11-2004, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

>It is quite another
>thing to revise Marx with Schumpeter and Keynes-Kalecki-Robinson to
>develop a theory which implies it's possible (in theory at least) to
>regulate the level of credit and effective demand to make capitalism
>more stable.

This is not me. Especially since I believe in Minsky's idea that
stability is destabilizing.

>Does the Bellofiore Marx-Keynes-Schumpeter synthesis attempt to
>provide a stronger theory of unavoidable catastrophism? Is it a
>revision of Marx in the spirit of Marx and Luxemburg? I do not think
>so. It leads to a revision of Marx in the direction of the centrism
>against whom Luxemburg struggled.

It is nice for me to be labelled as centrist, for once. I have always
here been criticized for being too extremist ... and being in the
middle of a polemic against nice guys who are proposing a new
synthesis Sraffa-Keynes I like to be put theoretically a bit more
right than I may seem to most of my fellow Italians economists.

I think you know me enough to understand that the interest for Keynes
and Schumpeter comes from the intention to put finance into a
re-instalment of labour theory of value as a theory of the extraction
of new value (and hence surplus value), putting the stress on the
real subsumption of labour to capital and class struggle in
production. I always thought that this way you could explain the
possibility of reformism in some periods (at the use value
dimension), while stressing the inevitability of class antagonism at
the value dimension.

You are however right in this, that I am strongly against any
Zusammenbruchtheorie, catastrophe theory. So I very much like
Grossmann, Mattick Sr., Luxemburg, etc, but I have never bought this

I would put it this way. I think mine is a revision of Luxemburg in
the spirit of Luxemburg, and that her errors are much more
interesting than the epigones' criticisms. I always thought that in
Kalecki and in Robinson the LTV is missing, and in Luxemburg it is
crucial. Let us say that my rhetoric once was very similar to yours
now, and now I think that it is better to see what I can learn from K
& R, without jettisoning the LTV in my reading. But my interest is to
maintain the LTV, as I see it, with a stress rather stronger on
finance, effective demand, and class struggle at the point of
production that it is usually done.

At the conference I will go to learn. My presentation will be mostly
on the line of my paper in Zarembka's Research (I'll have a new paper
too, but the English will be so approximate that it is best not to
circulate it), and I'll devote the next few months to exploit the
people in Bergamo knowledge to re-read and revisit Luxemburg.

best something


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

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