[OPEL:6174] Zinn

Wed, 11 Feb 1998 18:22:03

Does someone have some information about a Marxist (German?) economist
named K. G. Zinn?

I came accross an interesting passage in the Spanish version of Karl
Kuehne''s book "Economics and Marxism". (The passage is not in the
English version.)

Kuehne writes:

"We have already said that the analysis of economic growth cannot
be carried out by means of the value calculation [i.e. social labor-
time calculation]. In order to understand growth in these terms, we
should "correct" [Marx''s] concept of value. Recently, this approach
has been held also by important Marxist economists as Lange in Poland,
and Banfi in Italy.

"However, it is worth to mention a recent study by Zinn, who defends
the opposite conception. According to Zinn, in a growing economy,
outputs are normally greater than inputs, i.e. production is greater
than costs. This fact could be understood only by means of the labor-
value theory. Production and costs could be reckoned only in three
ways: a) physical calculation, rejected by Zinn because goods are
heterogeneous; b) monetary calculation, also invalidated by
inflationary processes and c) labor-time calculation."

[My free "translation" from the Spanish version, Economia y Marxismo,
Vol 3, p. 27, Barcelona, 1979; German original published in 1973.]

It is interesting to note that the now fashionable idea that Marx''s
value theory has not dynamic meaning, was already "floating" in the
late 60s. Banfi''s article mentioned by Kuehne was published in
German! in 1967.

In the English version of Kuehne''s book (which Alejandro Valle-Baeza
recently sent me; thanks Alejandro!), the author refers to 3 works by

1. Zinn K.G. [1970], Konsum und Krise bei Marx, Jahrbuch fuer
Sozialwissenschaft, XXI, No 3.

2. Zinn K.G. [1972], Arbeitswerttheorie, Berlin.

3. Zinn K.G. and Rehberg, K.S. [1977], Marx''s Theory of Value as a
Basic Concept of Interdependence Structures of Distribution in
Capitalist Societes (English title), Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloeko-
nomie und Statistik, CXCI (sic), No, 5-6.

Has someone ever heard about these works? Maybe Juriaan, who is in
the German area.

Alejandro Ramos