Re: [OPE-L] Re: Simultaneist and sequential publishing

riccardo bellofiore (
Sun, 18 Jan 1998 11:32:10 +0100

Well, I think that two points are in order, one on history, and one
on future prospects.

1. History. The Bergamo conference was organised starting from a list of
invited speakers and a call for papers. The speakers were invited according
to a (very) personal outlook of the situation in Marxist economics [this
outlook is briefly explained in the first part of the introductions to the
volumes]. This outlook stressed value theory as a theory of exploitation
and as a theory of the 'formation' of prices, and the monetary aspects of
capitalism as a sequential process; this view downplayed the role of the
traditional issues surronunding the transformation problem. I even think I
didn't ask for a paper on transformation! Of course, as I expected, the
responses to the call for papers were mainly on the transformation...

A consequence of my view was that Marxists had something to bring
in the debate. Marx's is almost alone as a monetary theory of value, and
also (though less so) as a monetary theory of the structural morphogenesis
of capitalism. But another consequence of my view was that Marxists had to
engage in a dialogue, and had to *learn*, from (strictly speaking)
NON-Marxists authors who were, I thought, interested to similar points.

Hence I invited Postkeynesians (Wray), Keynesians (Sardoni),
Kaleckian (Halevi & Kriesler), Monetary circuit theorists (Graziani; with
some qualification also Benetti & Cartelier), New Keynesians (Messori),
Institutionalist (Screpanti), quasi-Austrians (Meacci), historians of
economic thought (Faccarello, Guidi), and even Sraffians (Schefold, Kurz,
Screpanti again).

2. Future prospects for OPE-L. I refer here to Alan's proposal: invite the
other 21. Well, the names I made in point 1 are not interested to a project
like OPE-L. [The only exception may be Screpanti, who would present himself
also as a Marxist].

Who remains? Finelli, but he does not really use email. Desai, but
he is overburdened and he is now working mainly on other issues. Maybe that
the only ones who can be considered (if they are not already on the list!)
are David P. Levine (but I think that even in this case a list like this
one does not fit his present research agenda), Jack Amariglio, David F.
Ruccio, Richard Wolff, Antonino Callari, Henk W. Plasmeijer. Not 21 but 5
or 6.


At 17:16 -0000 17-01-1998, Gerald Levy wrote:
>Alan wrote on Sat, 17 Jan (btw, my 44th birthday):
>> > The thing is so much striking if you think that OPE-L didn't exist in
>> > December 94, when the conference was held!
>> >
>> > riccardo
>> >
>> I have to admit the same idea struck me also. Jungian synchronicity,
>> perhaps?
>When we got started in September, 1995 most of those who are now on the
>list didn't have access to e-mail. However, there were several informal
>"networks" that contributed to our formation and development. E.g.
>the Bergamo and IWGVT conferences established a certain precedence of
>familiarity and collaboration among Marxists doing research in political
>economy. Another type of "network" was the familiarity that many members
>had with others based on their attending or teaching at the same graduate
>school (e.g. Amherst, the New School, Utah). Finally, there were actual
>Internet networks (e.g. PEN-L and the now defunct marxism list) where many
>got to know, respect, and communicate with each other.
>So, in the above sense, the list's development was the continuation of a
>number of separate trends and associations. Perhaps, also, the dismal
>reality of the downfall of the USSR and a decade or neo-liberalist
>policies and austerity in most capitalist nations reinforced in the minds
>of many Marxists the _need_ for further (and deeper, and more meaningful,
>and ongoing) communication.
>Thus, while there is an immediate history regarding how the list got
>started, which I have written about in the past, there is also a wider
>context in which our formation took place.
>> I can't resist the following question: why not invite the other 21?
>To begin with, many of the remaining 21 don't have e-mail. (I should
>add that the timing for invitations in the past has not only been
>dependent on when others went on-line, but when we found out that others
>went on-line).
>Secondly, it was never our intention to invite all of the Bergamo
>participants -- it just so happened that many of those attending the
>Bergamo conference were highly recommended and respected by the
>listmembers at the time.
>Thirdly, it is my belief that there is still _some_ room for expansion --
>however, such a large amount of people admitted at once would pose the
>threat of increasing list volume exponentially. While volume has been
>lower since the beginning of last summer than during the preceding
>period, there is a practical limit to how much we can read each day. One
>of the very best habits that we have is that we (almost) all carefully
>read each other's posts. It would be a terrible shame if volume increased
>to the point where that was no longer the case. So, we can still admit
>some new members -- slowly -- but we should give consideration to how a
>person's admission to the list would benefit us. For example, how would
>the admission of someone increase our diversity in terms of international
>representation, gender, theoretical perspective, "areas of expertise",
>etc.? If anyone thinks there is someone (who currently has e-mail) that
>would benefit our list than s/he should contact me.
>In solidarity, Jerry