Re: [OPE-L] Raya Dunayevskaya Myths and Legends

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sat Nov 12 2005 - 22:21:19 EST

On Sat, 12 Nov 2005 21:56:45 -0500
  Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM> wrote:
>> Have you once refuted my claim that RD's interpretation of
>> Capital is virtually identical to HG's, right down to the claim
>> of successive approximations, to a shortage of mass of
>> surplus value crisis theory, to a critique of Luxemburg's
>> use of the reproduction schema and underconsumption?
>> Do remember that you claimed that RD's interpretation
>> of Capital was quite different from HG's. That is absolutely
>> false. But no one is expecting for  you to admit that you are
>> wrong. We know that you do not do that.
> What delicious and exquisite irony that at the present time _you_
> should be accusing _anyone else_ of not admitting mistakes!  I
> love it.
I have admitted being wrong to many interlocutors on this list,
including to you, Jerry.

You however are constitionally incapable of doing so. It is
sad in fact.

> Even more delightful in an Orwellian sense is your charge
> that I have not "refuted" your claim.  You are quite right --
> I have no even responded to it directly.  This is for two
> reasons:
> 1) I will not dignify your charges against Dunayevskaya with
> a direct response to your allegations:  I do not believe your
> insulting inferences should be taken seriously. And, more
> significantly:

What is insulting? I said that her understanding of Marx's
methodology, her crisis theory and her critique of
Luxemburg are virtually identical to Grossmann's.
Have you refuted this? Do remember that you made
the claim that RD's and HG's respective
interpretations of Marx diverged. This is false. I
don't know why you said this. You have not backed it up.
I am asking you to look at three pieces by RD, the 1947 on
the profit rate, the theory of crisis in marxism and Freedom,
and the critique of Luxemburg. You tell me whether this
is essentially identical to Grossmann's interpretation.
Now why did RD not admit her to Grossmann? Did she
come independently to all the same conclusions as Grossmann?
  I find this highly unbelievable. And even if she did, she and her
followers should admit HG's priority once it had or has been disclosed
to them. We know that RD knew of HG's writings because she
corrsponded with Rosdolsky about his book.

Now my question is how did RD come to know of HG's work and
why did she fail to admit her debt. To the first question, she was
either Shoul or she read Shoul or she read Grossmann.

As for the latter question, she could not admit her debt for two
reasons: she was anti Stalinist and she wanted to appear as the
fount of all wisdom as a leader of an organization, cult, etc.

> 2) _you_ made the accusation against Dunayevskaya, but all
> I have heard is unsupported allegations.

No there is an overwhelming similarity between her understanding
of Capital and Grossmann's. This is easy to support. It screams
out in fact.

  If we are not to abide
> by  Inquisition rules and aspire to a higher moral and ethical standard
> than the Moscow Show Trials, we should expect that the person
> making such serious charges provide evidence for such a
> charge or retract it:  the burden of proof is _clearly_ on you!

Easily done.

> (Note that I have asked no questions above.)
> Now I have some questions for *others* on the list:
> *  Is there anyone on the list _other than Rakesh_ who believes
> the bizarre and off-the-wall speculation Raya Dunayevskaya and
> Bernice Shoul were the same person?

Is there anyone else on this list who has read Grossmann's work,
all of Shoul's work and most of RD's work? If not, then I am the only
one who has some basis to talk about this.

> *  Is there anyone on (or off) the list _other than Rakesh_ who
> believes that Dunayeskaya "basically took over Grossmann's
> interpretation of Capital without citing him",  "simply failed
> to cite her source" and should have "dealt with the  problem
> much more honestly"?

How can anyone deny this if they have read both of them? This
is what is startling to me. And RD read German.

> *  Is there anyone on the list  _other than Rakesh_ who
> believes that I  was "absolutely false"  in my claim about the
> relation of  Dunayevskaya and Grossmann and believes that
> I should "admit" that I was wrong in that regard?

You are wrong. Read the pieces I mentioned and give me
one reason why they do not reflect a screaming debt
to Grossmann!

> * [_Not counting Rakesh_], is there anyone else on the list
> who does not agree with me when I suggest that what he has
> claimed without providing evidence amounts to a character
> assassination of (the already dead but much maligned)  Raya
> Dunayevskaya?
> => If anyone on the list _other than Rakesh_  who thinks that his  i
> nsulting and unsubstantiated allegations should be taken seriously,
> I'd like to hear from you ... please.  <=
> In solidarity, Jerry

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