RE: [OPE-L] [JERRY] Disagreement or dismissal? [was:commodities/

Michael Williams (Michael@MWILLIAM.U-NET.COM)
Mon, 2 Feb 1998 10:13:59 +0000

Hi Andrew:

> Mike writes: "TSS may have been 'suppressed' (by US 'radical economics'
> gatekeepers?) ...."
> The TSS interpretation has been -- and is currently being --suppressed (what's
> with the scare-quotes?), by devotees of "Marxian economics," by devotees of
> the surplus approach, and by mainstream economists, BOTH in the U.S. and
> elsewhere.

Sorry, there seems to be a misunderstanding: I have no doubt that TSS
has been suppressed - although not having tried to publish papers
from this standpoint myself, I am only gradually picking up the
details of this. The quotes round 'suppressed' were not "scare
quotes", merely a sign that I was quoting exactly from Alan's
para. to which I was responding. And the question mark was merely
a query about whether the suppression had stemmed mainly from US
'radical economics'.

> This is no big deal in itself. Who are we, after all? The important thing is
> that this suppression is a way of suppressing MARX's own body of ideas,
> including his own value theory.

I think I know what Andrew means here (and I am sure he will correct
me if I appear to misrepresent him in the smallest detail), and do
not disagree: the Sraffian gloss on the Tugan-Baranowsky et al
misrepresentation of Marx's value theory has been taken up by those
who would marginalise Marx's and Marxist contribution. I also agree
that being refused a hearing by 'radical' and 'marxist' gatekeepers
is particularly galling.

I also applaud the behaviour of TSSers in setting up their own
forums, and then opening them to all comers (even those who have
difficulty with the exact role of commodity money, and with the p/u-p
labour distinction, in Marx ...). Keep up the good work!


1. I imagine most people on this list have been subjected - in my
case continually since 1975 - to discriminatory gatekeeping
by bourgeois academia.

2. Many of us will also have been marginalised by the 'Marxist
Economics' mafia.

3. This is all inevitable: if you are not orthodox, you are
heterodox, and so, per definition, marginalised.

I do not advocate not fighting this suppression of thought, but

a) I think that this is best done by plugging away with the
substantive arguments (which TSS does - bravo!), rather than by
procedural whinges about an exclusion from this Journal here and that
conference there.

c) However, I defend TSSers right to carry on the procedural battle,
which is not without value. My intervention now is just my personal
whinge: I don't like my enjoyment of the very high
standard intellectual and political debate on OPE-L being swamped
with harangues about the suppression of Marx via the
suppression of TSS, every time someone wants to press an argument
that might at some time have to confront the issue of exactly what
Marx wrote and intended on relevant matters. That is not only a
nuisance, but could be felt by some as bullying, although I am sure
it is not so intended.

Got it?

Comradely greetings,
"Books are Weapons"
Dr Michael Williams
Department of Economics Home:
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 26 Glenwood Avenue
De Montfort University Southampton
Milton Keynes SO16 3QA
tel:+1908 834876 tel/fax: +1703 768641
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