Proposal for outline on p.e.

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Sun Aug 6 10:41:20 MDT 1995


For as long as I have been a Marxist (over 25 years, but I'm only 41), I
have heard Marxists repeat over and over again how Marx's analysis of
capitalism was incomplete and how we need to further the work on
political economy that Marx began. Yet, in my view, Marxist economists
spend far more time defending Marx from attack, then advancing his analysis.

Putting aside the question why this has been the case for the moment, let
us ask: what would be the *first step* towards advancing Marxist economic
theory?

Let me suggest the following:

Let's start with what Marx wrote about his original plan for _Capital_
(which is discussed in Rosdolsky's _The Making of Marx's 'Capital'_), and
see whether we can develop an *outline* that attempts to trace logically
the topics that remain to be studied in greater depth and their sequence
(say beginning with Book 3, Part IV).

I don't think that we will be able to come to an agreement about a single
such outline (given our different understandings of value and method),
but why can't we attempt to form such an outline even if it means that we
might generate a number of separate outlines?

Perhaps this task could be undertaken as a sub-project by different
groups of like-minded people. Whether sub-groups attempt to initiate
the generation of such an outline or whether it should be a list
activity, I think there are *many* list members who would view such a
project as a worthwhile endeavor.

Perhaps, the above procedure is too simple. Yet, in my view, it is better
than letting the current state of inertia continue. If anyone likes my
idea and would like to discuss more concretely how we could initiate this
task, please send a message to me directly.  I will then see if we can
jointly develop a workable plan for how to proceed.

Jerry


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