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

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 13:36:16 EST

I am wondering whether sparks flew at the Luxemburg conference, so I
shall respond to this old email now.
At 1:24 PM +0100 12/6/04, Riccardo Bellofiore wrote:
>This is not me. Especially since I believe in Minsky's idea that
>stability is destabilizing.

Minsky does not stand in the tradition of Luxemburg but Hilferding.
He was concerned with the development of institutions that would
stabilize instability.
There are those who openly admit that Minsky and Kalecki are dead set
opposed to the catastrophe politics of Grossmann and Luxemburg. I
think I read a paper by a Jan Toporoski (sp?) Why is his
interpretation wrong on this matter?

>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.

I shall have to reread your papers to get your meaning here.

>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

Yes but you have also said that FROP is essntial though you accept
Robinson's criticism of FROP. Again your synthesis is not clear to
me. Also, I don't see how you can like Grossmann and Mattick but not
like this point, the point central to their theoretical endeavors.

>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

The misssing of the LTV is not an aspect but constitutive of thought
of Robinson and Kalecki. They certainly thought this to be true of
their thought.

>  Let us say that my rhetoric once was very similar to yours

I don't agree that my points are rhetoric.

>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.

Again there is nothing incompatible between FROP theory and
recognition of financial or disproportionality crises. They are not
mutually exclusive. But your new theoretical interlocutors
consciously strove to suppress the embarrassing the third volume of


>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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Jan 02 2005 - 00:00:02 EST