Michael Perelman <michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU> said, on 01/10/01: >I've been thinking about Paul's question about my book. Would it be fair >to say that Luxemburg sees less capitalistic forms of production as being >efficient, while Lenin does not? In this respect, Lenin does fit the >mold of classical political economy, the Luxemburg falls outside of their >way of thinking. No, I don't thing Luxemburg was talking about efficiency, or at least I don't recall passages like that. >Marx seems to have moved from the Lenin perspective to the Luxemburg >perspective in his late years, as Shanin showed. J.D. White's book *Karl Marx and the Intellectual Origins of Dialectial Materialism* 1996, very much makes the point of Marx's growing interest, after 1867, in issues of primitive accumulation and how these investigations influenced Marx. White's work connects nicely with Shanin's, and Michael's book ties in quite nicely with both. Probably without being aware of it, Luxemburg was moving in the same direction as late Marx; Lenin can be interpreted as staying closer to the Marx of the first edition of *Capital* (partly under Plekhanov's important influence). --------- Michael's book is not easy reading. I have to go "back and forth". One drama is his promotion of the importance of James Steuart and the class reasons for the silencing of Steuart, even though Steuart is ligitimately the founder of political economy. Marx doesn't have a full study of Steuart (he does have 3-page Chapter I of T.S.V., I). But he has comments, such as at the beginning of a discussion of Richard Jones: "Even this first work on rent [by Jones] is distinguished by what has been lacking in all English economists since Sir James Steuart, namely, a sense of the *historical* differences in modes of production" (T.S.V, III, p. 399). If I read Michael correctly, Steuart might be similar to a Southern U.S. slave-holder who sees that the "free market" for labor power was being created by FORCE, even as a user of force himself (less likely, herself), and says so. Hopefully, to promote some interest in this topic on OPE-L other than Michael and myself, I quote from Michael's p. 170: "Steuart, the greatest classical theortist of primitive accumulation, found himself the victim of a primitive accumulation of a literary sort. We are all the poorer for the lack of attention given to this seminal mind." Michael's book DRIVES our attention INTO the issue of FORCE. What does that do to many of our various discussions? Luxemburg's (and my own work)on accumulation also drives toward attention to FORCE (rather than efficiency), even if not centered around the concept of primitive accumulation as Michael presents it. Paul Z.
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