[OPE-L:1841] suggestion for a dissertation topic

Subject: [OPE-L:1841] suggestion for a dissertation topic
From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Sun Dec 05 1999 - 14:17:01 EST

A follow-up idea from my last post [1840]:

> I also wonder: to what extent does Lassalle's "iron law of wages" in
> fact rely on a Malthusian concept of population? Have any of us actually
> read Lassalle's writings to suggest an answer to this question?

An interesting topic for a dissertation - particularly for someone whose
field is the history of economic thought - might be:

          "Karl Marx as a Historian of Economic Thought"

Object: compare Marx's writings on different political economists to the
original sources to discover whether Marx was an accurate and fair
historian of economic thought. It might, for instance, be interesting to
compare Marx's writings on three different groups of writers with their
original writings:
  1) political economists that Marx had a sympathetic but highly critical
       perspective on (e.g. Quesnay, Smith, Ricardo);

  2) economists whose theories Marx was openly antagonistic towards (e.g.
       Malthus, Torrens, McCulloch, J.S. Mill);

  3) contemporary anarchists and socialists that Marx was highly critical
       of (e.g. Lassalle, Proudhon).

I'd be willing to bet that whoever did such a dissertation might find a
few surprises.

Moreover, this strikes me as a dissertation topic that is eminently
"do-able" in the sense that all of the sources are readily available (and
last time I checked, a lot of the original sources are still available
through Augustus M. Kelley's "Reprints of Economic Classics").

Or maybe someone has already written a dissertation on this subject that
I don't know about?

In solidarity, Jerry

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