economic decline/help

jones/bhandari djones at
Fri Oct 27 23:07:01 MDT 1995

I'll have to spend less time on e-mail, so let me try to tie up some loose
threads.  Let me say  to Steve, John and Jim Miller: I consider it my
privilige to have  the opportunity to listen into your debate; I look
forward to your high-quality posts and the opportunity to think further
about the foundations of capitalist society.  It is important for us
castaways, mariners and renegades to get right Marx's theory of the
commodity and value.  

Also thanks to Adam Rose, Joseph Halevi and Ahab for the replies to my
query about the correctness of the following claim advanced by Jeffrey
Madrick, The End of Affluence. Random House, 1995:

"For all its ups and downs, [the post- WWII boom] produced the fastest,
broadest-based economic growth and rising living standards a major economy
has ever seen.  There is not one  forecast on record that suggested it
might not last." (p.35)

1. Referring me to the work of Chris Harman, Adam suggested that the
permanent arms economy 'school' (Vance, Kidron, and Harman) predicted the
return of crisis conditions.

2. Joseph reminded us that Baran and Sweezy (as well as Vatter) were also
aware of how stagnant the 'real economy' remained during boom conditions;
Joseph also noted the importance the Monopoly Capital theorists attributed
to  exogeneous political forces in counteracting that stagnation.  

3. While again reminding us of the importance of Minsky's work, Steve
pointed out the optimistic forecasts were themselves the result of the
linear production methods used by economists. 

While I have not studied Minsky's work yet, I would like to call attention
to the following works.  

Criticisms of the permanent arms economy theory
1. Geoffrey Pilling, 1986. The Crisis of Keynesianism--A Marxist View. London.
See chapter 4 where Pilling carefully analyzes Harman's theoretical work.
2. Walter Daum, 1990.The Life and Death of Stalinism: A Resurrection of
Marxist Theory. New York.  See chapter 7 "The Degeneration of Trotskyism". 

Criticisms of the Monopoly Capital School
1. Paul Mattick, 1977. Anti-Bolshevik Communism. Armonk.  See Chapter 11
2. Mario Cogoy, 1987. "Value, Accumulation and Crisis", ed. Paul Mattick, Jr
     International Journal of Political Economy, vol. 17, no. 2
3. Guglielmo Carchedi, 1991. Frontiers of Political Economy. London.  See
     chapter on crisis theory. 
4. Paul Bullock and David Yaffe, "Inflation, the Crisis and the Post-War Boom', 
      Revolutionary Communist, no 3/4 November 1975 

Adam, I think, understood that my question was a bit of a joke.  For me,
Madrick had only underlined of course the singular achievement of Paul
Mattick's 1969 Marx and Keynes: the limits of the mixed economy. 




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