[Marxism] Marx's crisis theory

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Wed Apr 10 10:19:53 MDT 2013

Angelus Novus wrote

Shane Mage wrote:

 > Even Heinrich recognizes that the sections on the Law were from a 
coherent > manuscript.

Say what?!

 From the article:

"The first two chapters on the "law as such" and the "counteracting 
factors" closely follow Marx's argumentation, but the manuscript then 
flows out into a sea of notes and constantly interrupted thoughts."

And remember, the "two chapters" that Heinrich is referring to here are 
the chapter divisions that Engels 
<http://www.marxmail.org/msg110599.html#> made within the large chapters 
in the unfinished manuscript (which Engels retitled as "sections" in the 
book published as "Capital Vol. III").

I'm amazed by how much of an emotional stake a lot of folks seem to have 
in defending the finality and alleged cohesion of manuscripts that Marx 
himself regarded as unfinished. It's one thing when you have nothing to 
go by other than the official doctrines of the Second and Third 
Internationals and the handful of published texts available at the time. 
It's another thing entirely to refuse to acknowledge the evidence that 
Marx himself regarded his work as incomplete and insufficient.

Imagine if other sciences functioned this way. Can you imagine 
biologists arguing for the completeness and comprehensiveness of 
Darwin's Origin of Species?
I certainly don't know how this is all going to settle out, but what 
convinced me in reading Kliman's The Failure of Capitalist Production 
was that he seemed there to have established empirically the fall in the 
rate of profit, tendentially and I suppose absolutely, from the 1970s 
on. Although, as far as I know, the MEGA project hasn't yet come out in 
English, so that the actual notes compiled by Marx in the period after, 
say, 1868 can be relied upon by those who read and write in that 
language, I am looking for reponses to what Heinrich writes, from 
Kliman, Alan Freeman, Michael Roberts, Sam Williams, or from Gerald Levy 
and others who hold forth on his OPE-l. Nothing so far, that I've seen.

And I think it's quite understandable that there is a lot of feeling 
over this latest attack on what Marx, at least at one time in his 
process of working out the laws and trajectory of capital, I think in 
Cap 3, said that the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall 
was the underpinning of the workings of capital, or words to that 
effect. And how many time during and since the time of Marx have grand 
attacks been launched against Marx's theory of the functioning of 
capital, only to be repeatedly beat back by others who have read more 
broadly or more closely, or with a more comprehensive understanding and 
interpretation? In this case, that may be Heinrich or it may be Kliman. 
For me, and without any stake in one interpretation or the other, Kliman 
has still made the most sense.

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