[Marxism] Larry Summers channeling Sweezy?

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo kklcac at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 2 10:31:23 MDT 2016

"Notes from the Editors," Monthly Review, October 2014:

Especially noteworthy in this respect was Sweezy’s path-breaking lecture “Why Stagnation?” delivered to the Harvard Economics Club in March 1982 (appearing in MR in June 1982). This raises the intriguing question: Was Summers present at Sweezy’s “Why Stagnation?” talk? We contacted Summers’s office on August 24, and were told that he said he didn’t recall, “but could be!”; his office then contacted us later the same day and said that he had reconsidered this and while he still did not remember, he thought it “unlikely.” Whether or not Summers was actually present on this occasion—and he believes it likely he was not—the question remains as to whether he was aware at the time of Sweezy’s talk, and of his general argument on stagnation. It is hard to imagine how all of this could have passed Summers by completely.

Isn’t it about time, then, that orthodox economists, Summers included, began to acknowledge the enormous work done on this topic on the left over decades, and indeed the greater complexity and historicity of the analysis to be found there—not only in MR but within heterodox economics more generally? Such an admission might even do orthodox economists some good.


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