[OPE] Two queries, from a friend

From: Jurriaan Bendien <jurriaanbendien@online.nl>
Date: Fri Jan 28 2011 - 14:56:24 EST

In his 1963 introduction to Bagehot's The English Constitution (Cornell
University Press, 1966), Richard Crossman (a British Labour Party MP in
Harold Wilson's Cabinet, also a prominent anti-communist and Zionist)
compared Bagehot with Marx, and wrote that "there is a remarkable
resemblance between Bagehot's theory of class politics and Marx's theory of
class war" (p. 30).

Both men, Crossman noted, were experienced political journalists, both were
political economists, and both studied British society in the 1850s and

Since Bagehot edited The Economist from 1861 to 1877, Marx would most
certainly have read Bagehot's articles and columns, but Marx does not refer
to Bagehot's own theories explicitly - though I seem to vaguely remember an
incidental reference by Marx to Bagehot in the 1860s (?).

Bagehot's own theoretical concerns about the money and credit system were, I
think, by and large beyond the analytical purpose and scope of Marx's
Capital Vol. 3. ("It lies outside the scope of our plan to give a detailed
analysis of the credit system and the instruments this creates (credit
money, etc.). Only a few points will be emphasized here, which are necessary
to characterize the capitalist mode of production in general. In this
connection, we shall simply be dealing with commercial and bank credit. The
connection between the development of this and the development of state
credit remains outside our discussion." - Karl Marx, Capital, Volume III,
Penguin ed., p. 525.)

Bagehot's intellectual legacy resurfaces in some of Jan Toporowski's books.
Toporowski's criticisms of Keynes's faith in the ability of the state to
curb rent-seeking and speculation are scientifically at a much higher level
than Mattick's.


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Received on Fri Jan 28 14:59:54 2011

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