[OPE-L:3137] RE: "orthodox" Marxism

riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 23:47:26 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

The crucial point in Fred's mail is what is to be understood as the fact
that Marx's theory has no "serious" logical flaws.

One may think that Marx's train of thought *had* some logical flaws; that
they were serious *enough* to prevent the possibility that his argument may
be simply restated; but not *so* serious that the whole building crumbles

Is this hypothetical person an orthodox or an heterodox?


BTW: while I think I understand Fred's point, I think that it is not
possible to divorce the term "orthodox" Marxism from the sad history of
what pretended to be orthodox Marxism in the Second and Third International
period. Thus, as Andrew, I was accustomed to think of Rubin, Mattick sr.,
Rosdolsky, and Grossmann [funny, no Anglosaxon, here] as "heterodox"
Marxists. But from this confusion of thought, since of course in my view
they understood Marx better than the heterodoxs, I conclude that is better
not to inist too much on the distinction. There can be no "conclusions" on
this topics, simply rigorous arguments within one's own style of thought: I
would not like the "heterodoxy", if it is simply a new "orthodoxy" in

BTW2: I think that the right spelling is Grossmann, with two n - though may
be he left fall the second n in the States, as did Hirschmann. As a
non-Anglosaxon, hence in the intellectual world of to-day (even within
Marxism) an heterodox almost by definition, I am quite sensitive on these

BTW3: I think that a good way to enlarge the plurality of voices, and the
depth, of contemporary marxism - either orthodox or heterodox - a good
thing to do is to *translate* old and/or new non Anglosaxon contributions.
Did you know, for example, that Charasoff and Moszkowskza made fundamental
contributions to the transformation problem in the early XX century? I have
only secondary knowledge of that, I would like to read the original. Do you
know that Rubin participated in a very important debate in USSR, which is
available in German? And so on. The works of my teacher, Claudio Napoleoni,
in Italian were first-class on value and on collapse theory, but it seems
that no publisher think that there is enough market for translations. Fred
told me that Enrique Dussels is making a wonderful job about Marx's
manuscripts. In Italy, almost all was translated before 1980,in Marxism,
but afterwords all stopped. In the meantime, I have decided that in my
footnotes I allow myself to quote extensively from non-English secondary

Since English is the language of the Empire, since it is utopian to
hope that we know all languages, and since then a translation in English is
likely to affect positively all the world, I think that this forum should
start thinking some way to enalrge the number of old and new important
works in Marxism.

Riccardo Bellofiore e-mail: bellofio@cisi.unito.it
Department of Economics Tel: (39) -35- 277505 (direct)
University of Bergamo (39) -35- 277501 (dept.)
Piazza Rosate, 2 (39) -11- 5819619 (home)
I-24129 Bergamo Fax: (39) -35- 249975