[OPE-L:360] Where are we going? Part II

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sat, 28 Oct 1995 20:35:46 -0700

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> Why critique?
> =============
> OK, so why don't we just *confine* ourselves to the study of
> Marx's concept of value? Why don't we just then draw a line
> under Volume I with insights on the credit side and gaps in
> the debit side, and pass on? And what demands study after
> Volume I?

I realize that Alan likes the polemical style of writing. The above,
however, shows the limitations of such a method for our list. Who said we
should confine ourselves to discussing value? Who said that critique had
*no* part in list activities? Who suggested a "balance sheet" approach?
Allan -- stop trying to find disagreements where none exist. We'll have a
hard enough time discussing real differences without manufacturing false

> Capitalist reproduction: why study it and how?
> Who do we track down today? Twenty years ago, I would have
> said, hunt Keynes. If Ricardo was the currency of the early
> nineteenth century, surely Keynes was the security of the
> mid-Twentieth. Now I would tend to say, hunt Friedman.

To hell with Friedman? Why does a discussion concerning capitalist
reproduction -- for us -- necessarily involve a critique of Friedman?
Since we all know that Allan will do this, though, let's not debate
whether it should be done.

> However there is a prior problem if we are going to refer to
> Marx, and this does lie within Marxism itself: namely
> Marxism has saddled itself with a theory of value from which
> money has been eliminated. The simultaneous equation
> representation of Marx, I think it can easily be shown, is
> one from which money is a priori absent. In the the
> neoricardians it does not appear.
> My view is that the confusion generated by fifty years of
> this crap has so addled the brains of the Marxist body
> politic that we will find ourselves unable to proceed
> without therapy. I may be proved wrong, and I hope so. So I
> think we have to make a diversion, or rather a concentration
> of effort, the purpose of which is to recapture the specific
> role of money in Marx's theory of reproduction. If that can
> be helped by studying the Grundrisse [Lebowitz 215/292,
> Devine [lost reference], and others], and this may be the
> case, then I wholeheartedly support that idea.
> Official Marxism today, instead of a value theory of
> reproduction, offers a reproduction theory of value. The
> reproduction theory of value does away with money. Since
> value is defined by the necessity of reproducing society,
> there is no place left for a repository of value other than
> what is tied up in production and private consumption.
> We therefore have two tasks.
> First, to recapture Marx's original concept of money which
> is *independent* of the specific mode of reproduction of any
> given capitalist society - hence specified, along with
> price, in Volume I - not Volume III.
> Secondly, to recover a conception of the reproduction of
> capitalist society which is organised around the
> reproduction of *money capital*, not 'physical products' or
> 'use-values' as if value reproduction were a mere adjunct of
> physical reproduction instead of vice versa.
Look, Allan: None of us are idiots. We all read journals like _Capital &
Class_. We all know why you believe the above is important to discuss.
So, let's stop playing games and get on with it.

Virtually everything that Allan has written in his two posts concerns
topics we will discuss shortly.

In OPE-L Solidarity,