Proposal for outline on p.e.

Paul Zarembka ECOPAULZ at
Sun Aug 6 16:27:44 MDT 1995

I am not ready to jump in with specific proposals, but what Jerry says
here is completely correct and something I deeply feel--we must get on
with advancing Marxist theory.  Back in my intellectual childhood when I
was a neoclassical neoclassical, we certainly were not constantly
debating Smith, Ricardo, Mill, Marshall or even Keynes (altho he has been
more subject to debate) the way Marxists often do for Marx.  There is
absolutely no reason for Marxists to be on the defensive in their theory--its
far ahead of bourgeois theory even when we make mistakes.

Jerry, thanks for driving the point home.  Maybe start, Jerry, by posting
Marx's outline for future work.

Paul Zarembka

On Sun, 6 Aug 1995 glevy at wrote:

> 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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