[OPEL:6195] Laibman said what?

David Laibman (DLaibman@brooklyn.cuny.edu)
Thu, 19 Feb 98 12:29:00 EST

Since the flow is so slow, here is a quick response to something I caught up
with late. I notice, in a post from Jurriaan, the following, attributed to
Andrew (I must have missed the original):

"Laibman ... said nothing about the law of the tendential fall in the
profit rate, which the '20th-century Marxists' clearly do not replicate, but
which Marx considered to be in every respect the most important law of modern
political economy."

This implies -- although it does not quite state -- that I also "do not
replicate" the law. I do not know the context of the claim that I "said
nothing" about it, but I have been writing about the law of the tendential
fall in the profit rate for over 20 years, and my presentation of this law
appears in multiple publications, including two books, the most recent of
which is the ostensible topic of a panel at the forthcoming IWGVT conference.
Andrew apparently has difficulty believing that anyone who is not a TSS
true believer can affirm the validity and importance of the LTFRP. Well I
can, and do.

Incidentally, Marx did at one point say that the LTFRP is "the most
important law of political economy." He also, at another well known point,
said that the final cause of crises is the limitation of working class
consuming power, compared to the tendency of capitalism to develop the
productive forces in an unlimited manner (paraphrase). He also made the
decision not to include the material on the LTFRP in Volume I of CAPITAL,
even though it existed in ms. long before 1867. So I must agree with those
who accept the fact of significant ambiguity and incompleteness in Marx's
texts -- which only means that present-day Marxists must make up our own
minds about the order of importance of Marx's various inquiries, and the way
we should put them together.

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David Laibman dlaibman@brooklyn.cuny.edu