Re: [OPE] Kliman, 'Value and Crisis: Bichler & Nitzan versus Marx'

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sun Feb 06 2011 - 18:31:18 EST

On this I am definitely on Andrew's side.

--- original message ---
From: "GERALD LEVY" <>
Subject: [OPE] Kliman, 'Value and Crisis: Bichler & Nitzan versus Marx'
Date: 6th February 2011
Time: 11:20:06 pm

> From:
> Subject: Value and Crisis: Bichler & Nitzan versus Marx
> Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 15:32:10 -0500
> Value and Crisis: Bichler & Nitzan versus Marx
> by Andrew Kliman
> at
> February 6, 2011
> This article responds to recent works by Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon
> Bichler, influential radical political-economic thinkers who teach,
> respectively, at York University in Toronto and at colleges in Israel. Part
> I, below, responds to Bichler and Nitzan’s (B&N) “Systemic Fear, Modern
> Finance and the Future of Capitalism” (Bichler and Nitzan 2010). In this
> paper, they argue that (1) “systemic fear”–fear of the death of the
> capitalism–has gripped capitalists during the last decade, but (2)
> capitalists’ belief that their system is eternal is necessary for its
> continued existence. So (3) the alleged systemic fear is itself a threat to
> the system. And thus we have yet another version of the notion that capital
> itself may be the historical Subject that will bring it down.
> B&N claim that fear of the death of the system’s death has gripped
> capitalists only during two periods in recent history–the Great Depression
> and the 2000s. Their evidence for this claim consists entirely of the
> alleged fact that these two periods of crisis were the only periods since
> World War I in which equity (stock) prices and current profits were strongly
> correlated, i.e. the only periods in which they closely moved up and down
> together. However, using the exact same methods and the exact same data as
> B&N, I show below that that equity prices and current profits were also
> strongly correlated from the early 1950s through 1973–during the so-called
> golden age of capitalism!
> In Parts II and III of this article, which will appear here later this
> month, I will respond to the critique of Marx’s value theory that pervades
> Nitzan and Bichler’s 2009 book, Capital as Power. In this book, they allege
> that Marx’s value theory is practically useless for the study of
> accumulation. So my response will show, among other things, that his theory
> sheds significant light on the long decline in the rate of accumulation
> (investment) that contributed to ever-increasing debt burdens in the U.S.
> and helped set the stage for the recent Great Recession.
> Andrew Kliman
> "I Ain't Gonna Work on Piero's Farm No More"
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