Re: [OPE-L] Fw: W J Blake clarification requested

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 12:31:17 EST

Re: [OPE-L] Fw: W J Blake clarification requestedThanks Rakesh,

please do look I am sure Steve would be delighted to put the stuff on the web.

paul bullock
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Rakesh Bhandari 
  Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 5:59 PM
  Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Fw: W J Blake clarification requested

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Paul Bullock
    Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 6:04 PM
    Subject: W J Blake clarification requested

    Dear Rakesh,

    In late 2003 you kindly sent me this attached note, saying Blake was a journalist. I was a bit confused reading this since this is not what it said/says in his books introduction. Are we talking at cross purposes. I referred to William J Blake who in 1939 published the 'Elements..' used in the email title. But he was a stock exchange 'worker'(!) and banker, not as you say in the email a journalist!  I don't understand how he could have lived in poverty  later.  Is there some error on your part or are we talking about different Blakes??

  same Blake and Blech. He emigrated from the US after the War and lived in poverty in England. As Jerry noted, he was a journalist in the 1920s

    You say you have 2 MSS from  a  'Blake'... is it not possible to publish these ?

  I  have a sinking feeling that somehow these two MSS as well as Shoul's Radcliffe dissertation have been lost in my move; they have not yet surfaced. By the way, thanks again to Jerry for having told me about Shoul's dissertation.

  I also have this suspicion that Raya Duyanevskaya (a pseudonym I have been told) was Shoul's nom de guerre. But I have no way of proving it.

    What strikes me is that some of the best material is literally unavailable to english readers.. eg  probably the MSS you refer to, especially if one is on Imperialism...!!!! 

  It's not a great book (as Elements of Marxian Economic Theory...An American Looks...);  quite rambling, not theoretically tight and not innovative. But massively learned.

  And... he is often quite eloquent. From William J. Blake in an unpublished mss Imperialism from 1948 (I have quoted this passage at least three times before).

  One cannot abstract from the history of capitalism its constant wars,
  either at home or in the colonies, its armaments, its large military
  establishments, its struggles for plunders, its terrible human and
  material costs, and then assert that such things, enormous as they
  are, are excrescencies.  The idea of abstraction is dear to these
  economists, but it is not an act of legitimate abstraction.  They
  choose to assume that an ideal system of production and exchange goes on: that this system operates without political consequences, that it can thus be viewed as having a normal existence independent of its action in most countries, in a large part of the course of economic history.  Now, abstraction is legitimate as a weapon of exploration. One can go beneath the great indicative appearance of capitalism and
  seek to isolate its law of wages, prices, interest, rent, profit,
  etc.  But from that to refusing to consider the costs of its actual
  working out, when making a specific analysis, there is no
  relationship at all.  The persistent tendencies of any system
  culminate in its political manifestations, and wars and destruction
  are no more to be reckoned out of the costs of capitalism than its
  payments for machinery. The system of supply and demand does not
  achieve economic harmony such that it avoids crises and wars. These
  inflect its course.  It is a masquerade of inflation, bankruptcy,
  boom and bust, fraud, unemployment, race hatred, colonial oppression,
  war, devastation, reconstruction. This Satanic medley is what it is:
  there is no pure system operating outside of all these
  consequences and which would prevail, a Platonic ideal, were it not
  disturbed by these recurrent miseries and shame, apparently arising
  out of another world?"

  If I reread the mss I may change my mind about its importance. Especially valuable may be the critique of theories of possibility of international cooperation.

     and Grossmans full book and several of his articles. Would it not be a great service to do something on Blake as an intro to publishing his MSS? ( like the service Rick is trying to render to Grossman?)

  I have forgotten so much I once knew about his life. I communicated to Rick Kuhn that one of Stead's short stories is actually about the many lives of Henryk Grossmann, a good friend of William J. Blake's. And to truly write about Blake one would have to have read his novels.

    I look forward to your clarification... .

  Steve Palmer has put some of Grossmann's work up on the web; I just have to find Blake's and Shoul's mss and see whether he wants to put them up to.

    Best regards

    Paul Bullock.

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