"loons" in the RCP

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Apr 25 22:52:19 MDT 1995


This is a reply to Chris' comments on the 1933 British Communist Party
pamphlets on political economy, which were republished by Banner Press in
1976.  I am under the impression that Banner Press is affiliated with the
Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States (the British RCP
is a  different organization).

Chris undoubtedly has a much better understanding of the tactical mistakes
made by Communist Parties in the 1930s, mistakes--as Chris reminds us-had
the gravest of consequences.

In this post Chris seems to be most concerned with the ultra-leftist
dismissal of social democracy, and the critique of social democrats is
indeed fierce in these pamphlets.
What do I find valuable in these pamphlets?

a) the attempt to differentiate Marx's from Ricardo's value theory
b)the differentiation of crisis theories (underconsumption,
disproportionality and falling profit rate)
c)the wage theory, including the critique of bourgeois programs of
'rationalization" and interpretation of the "increasing misery" thesis (an
interpretation which is not invalidated by rising real wages).

While Grossmann is savaged on the penultimate page, the above points were
all developed by Grossmann.

But the critique of Grossmann and Preobrazansky is an important one.  And
it raises the critical question of what is the nature of the stationary
state (or in a Marxian gloss, simple reproduction).  This is critical
question in social science, with different interpretations from Ricardo,
Mill, Keynes and of course Marx.

With the reemerge of worldwide stagnation, I think it is time again to
analyze what the implications of the stationary state are.  This is not an
academic question.

I thank Chris for his recognition of the time I have put in uploading what
I have thought to be interesting ideas (and revolutionary critiques), and I
will take his advice of including some comments.

Rakesh



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