[Marxism] Another review of Heinrich

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 28 14:07:16 MDT 2013

On 5/28/13 3:46 PM, Robert Schardein wrote:
> Thought I would throw Matthijs Krul to the value-form wolves:
> http://mccaine.org/2013/05/26/book-review-michael-heinrich-an-introduction-to-the-three-volumes-of-marxs-capital/

I remain skeptical about any connection between having a "correct" line 
on the FROP or LTV and knowing what to do politically. Here's Matthijs 
from a North Star interview:

"One major consequence of Kliman’s consistent application of Marxist 
economics is the emphasis on opposing purely distributional responses — 
all these Marxo-Keynesian attempts to ‘stimulate’ by redistributing 
wealth, or restoring the welfare state, or calling for nationalizations 
and public investment works. Instead, as Kliman shows, the contradiction 
of capital means you have to choose between one of two evils: either 
ameliorate the crisis now by emergency measures of that kind, and suffer 
a worse one soon, or ride out the storm, with all the attendant 
unemployment, immiseration, and unfreedom we have seen in the Great 
Depression and the Victorian age. Neither option is desirable: that’s 
exactly why capitalism itself is the problem, and must be overthrown."

Maybe Matthijs should be on Social Security like me before he decides 
that Marxists should oppose "purely distributional responses". Or maybe 
take a look at Leon Trotsky's Transitional Program:

"The struggle against unemployment is not to be considered without the 
calling for a broad and bold organization of public works. But public 
works can have a continuous and progressive significance for society, as 
for the unemployed themselves, only when they are made part of a general 
plan worked out to cover a considerable number of years. Within the 
framework of this plan, the workers would demand resumption, as public 
utilities, of work in private businesses closed as a result of the 
crisis. Workers’ control in such case: would be replaced by direct 
workers’ management."

Despite my allergy to mathematics (I was a whiz in algebra back in 1960 
but that was in another country and besides the wench is dead), I will 
plunge into these matters tomorrow while my lovely wife is attending her 
conference in lovely San Jose, Costa Rica.

We got into the hotel last night where the conference was to be held and 
discovered that it was overbooked. To assuage us and other conference 
guests that also discovered that their registration was for naught, the 
hotel put us in 5-star hotel at the same rate. I feel like Leonard DiCaprio.

More information about the Marxism mailing list