[OPE-L:4483] Re: Sraffa: a Marxist economist?

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 08:48:33 -0800 (PST)

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Comrade Riccardo:

> The thing is becoming more and more a theological one.

Right, but it is also funny!

> There is a problem in your tale, comrade Alejandro. Garegnani would
> be the first to speak of Sraffa as the greatest of Marxists, and to
> criticize people like Steedman , Lippi etc...
> I dont think that what I refer to (Cambridge papers, etc.) is
> something Garegnani would have really the interest to burn: on
> the contrary.

Neither wished Jorge de Burgos to burn the 2nd part of the "Poetic".
But he wanted to be the **only one** who can read it. He burned
the book (and the Library that, I think, was near Bergamo!!) only in
the desperate situation imposed by the investigations carried out by
Fra Baskerville-Bellofiore.

Nonetheless, what I want to say is that in the Italian post war
context (perhaps until 80s) "to be Marxist" had a different meaning
than that we can think now. Marx was for the Italian culture of those
years what (heresy coming) Ayn Rand or... Donald Duck is for US
culture today. I think that even Bettino Craxi might have described
himself as "Marxist" in the 60s-70s. So, in this context is perfectly
possible that Sraffa (friend of Gramsci) said that he was Marxist and
that his HONEST purpose was to develop Marx's theoretical project.
That is all. I also think that Sraffa's work opened a discussion that
is still running and that has contributed very much to clarify Marx's
work. In this sense he deserves our admiration.

Saluti compagno,
ci vediamo a Washington.

Alejandro R.

P.S. Talking about lost books, burned Libraries, etc. I remember to
have read something about the fact that Sraffa was, for many years,
the only one in "Western" countries who had a copy of the Russian
edition of Dimitriev's book. Perhaps in Nuti's edition of Dimitriev?