RE: Spirito di Bergamo

riccardo bellofiore (
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 09:43:07 +0100

At 18:45 -0000 20-01-1998, andrew kliman wrote:
>In the following post,
>From: on behalf of riccardo bellofiore
>Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 1998 10:18 AM
>Subject: Re: Spirito di Bergamo
>Riccardo wrote:
>"But this way of speaking clarifies what I sees as a problem: the logic of
>'us' ['Marxians'] and
>'them' [others]. May be it is the logic of IWGVT, and it is quite sensible."
>As co-organizer of the International Working Group on Value Theory (IWGVT), I
>wish to emphasize that this is definitely NOT its "logic." On the contrary,
>we have never wished to limit the group to "Marxians" and, as Riccardo and
>others may remember, Alan and I rejected the suggestion made at the end of
>last year's IWGVT mini-conference that the mini-conference should be limited
>to "us" ("Marxists") and should exclude "outsiders."
>This is what we say. This is what we mean. This is what we practice.
>In addition to those who call themselves Marxists, this year's
>mini-conference will include two panelists who identify with the
>post-Keynesian tradition, one who identifies himself as a "Sraffian,"
>and a financial economist whose work, to my knowledge, is not part of
>any "school." (We also invited economists who identify with the Austrian
>tradition to participate.) There may be other panelists, too, who do
>not identify themselves as Marxians, but since I'm not in the habit of
>administering ideological litmus tests and since, frankly, I couldn't
>care less about the labels people apply to themselves, I'm not sure.

Andrew, may be I was not clear enough. When I am critical towards the logic
of "us" vs. "them" I am not saying that it necessarily means a policy of
collecing only the "us" and of refusing to talk with the "them". I am
simply stating that the idea that today it is useful to engage a dialogue
with non-Marxians saying: well, I am a Marxian, you are a not-Marxian, let
us talk together. I insist that this policy I understand, and it is quite
sensible. BUT my idea of a dialogue in this case is different: I don't
think that the Marxians are one front and the not-Marxians another, BECAUSE
very often the distance between self-proclaimed Marxians is LARGER than the
distance of some Marxians with some not-Marxians.

What your declaration says, and I am happy with that, is the following:
there is no standard either on value or on Marx. This does not exclude that
a certain percentage (I guess, an high percentage) of the self-proclaimed
Marxians will engage in a pluralistic dialogue saying: this is the value
theory of Karl Marx; what's your answer? The fact that those who says so
will present several different "Marx's value theory" does not change the
mood. I was simply stating that this is not my approach.

As for the IWGVT I said "may be" the approach is this one. I apologize if I
am wrong. As a personal reaction to last year choices made by the IWGVT I
must say this: as an individual, I am more interested in the past
discussion within the IWGVT as a discussion group (mainly) among
self-proclaimed Marxians. And I am more interested in the discussion in the
OPE-L as a discussion among self-proclaimed Marxians. NOT because this
means that I want to discuss with what is nearer to my views (I just said
the opposite!). Because I find legitimate ALSO that there is a place where
this kind of dialogues is going on. If I have to discuss with PKT, or
Schumpeterians, or Austrian, I can do that all over the world.

But, I repeat, this are personal impressions. Not criticisms. I think your
work (and Alan's) in organizing these mini-conferences all over these years
is wonderful.


P.S.: let me state once again that I do NOT vote AGAINST the enlargement of
the list.