[OPE-L:3519] Re: Hilferding and skill

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 08:13:22 -0700 (PDT)

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Steve writes:

> I think that we're getting somewhere on this--you now know where my
> examples were coming from. But in my opinion, you're still mis-reading
> Hilferding--though this is something which Hilferding's own language
> encourages...

Yes, I do have a better sense of where Steve is coming from.
I think there are two issues here:

1) The 'history of thought' question -- What did Hilferding
mean? Steve and I agree that H's language is somewhat
confusing. Did he mess up a presentation of the Sweezy view
by the use of some language that can be taken as suggesting
something different (i.e., what Steve gets out of the text)?
Or did he mess up a presentation of "Steve's view" by the
use of some language that bears the Sweezy interpretation?
(Of course, this question does not have to be decidable.)

2) Regardless of what Hilferding believed, is the position
that Steve gets out of Hilferding coherent and/or useful?

I will try to post answers to these shortly. In the
meantime (too many other things on my plate right now), let
me raise one minor, auxiliary history of thought question:

> The hypothetical chosen by Grabski is of course a
> hypothetical, but it accords with Marx's own musings on the subject, as
> I noted in an earlier post...

I don't see any suggestion, in B-B's text, that the
sculptor/stone-breaker example is Grabski's. Looks more as
if it was an "example" plucked out of the air by B-B
himself, to "refute" Grabski. (Grabski's original piece was
in German, and I haven't read it, or seen a translation.)