RE: [OPE] Chris Harman on the spectre of Keynesianism

Date: Sun May 11 2008 - 07:53:45 EDT

>  In the analysis I have developed since the 1980s, it is the "total structure of the accumulation process" which has to be looked at empirically. 
> This is a strongly pro-Marx, but strongly anti-Marxist perspective, insofar as Marxists think that accumulation means simply "extracting surplus 
> from production". From the point of view of economic theory and history, or from the point of view of what Marx actually says himself, I think this 
> Marxist idea is obviously false.  
> Marxists criticize Keynes because Keynes is "bourgeois reformist". But I have a quite different reason to criticize Keynes, namely I think he is 
> wrong about many foundational questions of economic thought. It is not that Keynes has the wrong "ideological flavour", but that I think in 
> substance many of his arguments and concepts about how capitalism works are in truth wrong. But that is not something you can 
> really discuss within Marxist circles, because as soon as you try to do real justice to Keynes's argument, you get labelled "reformist". 
Hi Jurriaan:
The focus by Marx in _Capital_, classical political economists before
Marx (including Ricardo, for example),  and most Marxians who have written on 
political economy was on explaining the *long-run* tendencies of capitalism:
the "law  (or laws) of motion" of capital.  What is not examined in any depth is 
*short-run* macroeconomic dynamics - and that was the focus of Keynes.
Keynes didn't really have as developed a theory of production as did Marx or
even some Austrian economists (e.g. Bohm-Bawerk; von Mises) in large part 
because of this self-imposed limitation. In any event, I think that if you want to 
understand and critique Keynes, you have to do so by also focusing in on 
short-run dynamics and the short- to medium-term consequences and 
limitations of state fiscal and monetary policy. 
In solidarity, Jerry

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