[OPE-L:3505] RE: HOPE for and against Marx and Marxist

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 15:51:25 -0700 (PDT)

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Gil wrote in [OPE-L:3504]:

> For what it's worth, I'm writing a reply to the 1995 HOPE piece by Brewer,
> in which I show that all of Brewer's "modern relevance" tests can be met by
> Marx's theory of the capitalist firm, which (I argue) anticipated key modern
> developments in the mainstream theory of the firm by over a century. OPErs
> will recognize the main outlines of the argument from our earlier Chapter 5
> discussion.

Firstly, I'm not sure what you mean by the expression "mainstream theory
of the firm." There are mainstream neo-classical theories of the firm in
the Walrasian, Austrian, and Marshallian traditions (which have a very
tenuous connection to each other). There are also mainstream theories of
firm behavior in industrial organization literature (which very
frequently have an even more doubtful connection to nc theory). In what
sense do you mean this term?

Secondly, I don't think we ever really did have a discussion on this list
regarding your perspectives on firm behavior (and your interpretation of
Marx regarding that subject). You made suggestive comments, as you say,
in the Ch. 5 discussion. But, I don't think we moved beyond those
suggestive comments to consider your theory (or theories) of capitalist
firm behavior. Am I mistaken? If not, perhaps you could tell us in broad
outline what that theory is.

In Solidarity,