Re: [OPE] Great article from Jan Toporowski

From: Cipolla <>
Date: Thu Oct 07 2010 - 15:48:45 EDT

when I referred to MR I was referring to the patrons upon whom the work of Foster/Magdoff is based, that is to Sweezy, Magdoff (father) an Baran.
I do not see a problem in that my view coincides with Kliman. In this respect I think he is correct.
Besides, it is not a question of "wanting to call them underconsumptionists". Their analysis is underconsumptionist. As Shaikh once wrote (History of crisis theories) they conceive capitalism as a vertically integrated production system in which means of production are produced in order to produce means of consumption. And since productivity and the rate of exploitation both rise there is always an excess of means of consumption which is not cleared by capitalist consumption either (for other reasons).
I hope that this time I did not talk past your response.

  ----- Original Message -----
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 11:31 AM
  Subject: Re: [OPE] Great article from Jan Toporowski

  We seem to be talking past one another, Paolo.
  For instance, I said that MR can not be accurately *defined* as a "left Keynesian
  underconsumptionist" magazine. Nothing you said was in response
  to that.
  I said that it was inconsistent for someone who says that, wherever possible,
  one should "refer to schools of thought by the name they prefer" and then
  refer to MR as a "left Keynesian underconsumptionist" journal (clearly a
  name MR doesn't prefer). You did not speak to that.
  I said that it was inaccurate to refer to MR with that designation, not only for the
  above reasons, but also because articles relating to crisis theory and articles
  which contain underconsumptionist perspectives only comprise a small % of
  the articles in that journal. Nothing you wrote spoke to that.
  If you want to call Sweezy, Magdoff, and/or Foster underconsumptionists
  that's one thing, but to refer to MR as a "Left Keynesian underconsumptionist" journal
  is quite another.
  I find this (mis-) characterization (by Kliman) to be curious for another reason: it
  seems to suggest that the perspective that one has on crisis theory defines the
  overall theoretical perspective of a school of thought. This is highly misleading and seems
  to reduce the scope of interest of other theoretical perspectives to his own (i.e. value
  theory, including crisis theory).
  In solidarity, Jerry
> > As far as MR goers, since when are Left Keynesians also revolutionary
> > socialists?? If you think MR is Left Keynesian it either means you
> > don't know the history or politics of the publication or your
> > definition of Left Keynesian is overly broad.
> >
> > And even if it's true that some of the editors of MR have had
> > an underconsumptionist theory of crisis since when did crisis
> > theory define whether one is Left Keynesian or socialist? Let's
> > recall that virtually all of the German-Austrian Social Democratic
> > theorists from Marx's time through the 1930s as well as almost
> > all of the Bolshevik theoreticians had an underconsumptionist and/or
> > disproportionality theory of crisis.
> >
> > What is particularly galling about this dismissive characterization
> > of MR is that it was written by someone who has repeatedly said
> > that one should "refer to schools of thought by the name they prefer".
> > Well, I'm pretty sure that MR would prefer not to be called a left
> > Keynesian underconsumptionmist publication!
> >
> > And - another thing - articles related to crisis theory only comprise
> > a very small % of articles in MR and it is thus a gross
> > mischaracterization
> > to *define* them based on the perspectives of several authors on
> > crisis theory.


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