[OPE-L] Shigeru Aihara Henryk Grossmann's "Reconstruction"

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Apr 09 2007 - 00:44:29 EDT

  Grossman argued that productivity growth as measured in a rising
technical composition of capital tended to raise OCC in production
but as the effects of productivity growth rippled through circulation
the effect on the value composition of capital would prove not to be
a mechanical registration of a rising OCC (see here is relaxation of
the assumption of constant values in the course of accumulation)  .
Grossman argued that first we must isolate the effects of a rising
OCC in production before figuring out  its effects via circulation on
the value composition of capital (there seems to be some similarity
here to Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad Filho). It's not that the first
tendency is necessarily more inherent to the capitalist system or
more important in empirical terms than the latter tendency. It's that
explanation, contra Aihara, is in fact stage based and by beginning
with a rising OCC as a result of a rising TCC Marx is able to lay
bare a tendency that he can then explain is modified or possibly
neutralized or even reversed in terms of the indirect effects of this
very process.

Grossman's distinction is not between a pure and empirical
capitalism. The entire theory is of a pure capitalism. It's a
dialectical derivation of categories in the sense that the latter
categories follow logically the prior ones. Which does not mean the
logically posterior categories are less important empirically or less
inherent to the concept of capital.


There is also not that much need to discuss the "method of Marx" that
Grossman has claimed to have "reconstructed." The simplification of
Marx is based the position of the primary subject determined by
strict logic and the particular connections. This is not a
stage-based epistemology. Grossmann makes a distinction between
"pure" and "empirical" capitalism, and then places the elements most
favorable to collapse (such as the rise in organic composition) in
"pure" capitalism and those elements unfavorable to collapse (such as
a rise in the rate of surplus-value) in "empirical" capitalism, even
though it should be treated the same way as the favorable elements.
This is a feat that Marx did not accomplish. This method, according
to Grossmann, is something that no one has perceived before, and
certainly we will grant that he was the first to have perceived this.
Still, there is no question that this is not the "method of Marx."

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