File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-04-30.191, message 80

Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 16:17:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: histoire du marxisme

I agree with Jorn that insofar as, or to the extent that, Marxist theory
does not advance at any period, that is the fault of the Marxist, not the
workers. The recession of the workers' movement may explain why Marxist
theory doesn't advance, but an explanation is not an excuse. Tht was the
point of my "baliming the victim" remark.

I accept Mandel as an important Marxist theorist of Ralph's period, though
of course he extends into our own. About Cliff, Jorn and I will have to
differ. The idea of state capitalism isn't even original with Cliff and I
don't see that he develops it in aprticualtly interestinr or plausible
way. Other Trotskyists I gave high marks to: Schachtman and H. Draper
among others. 

Jorn seems shocked taht I found anything good to say about theorists who
worked under the influence of Stalinism. While I am at it, I should have
mentioned Haldane, Farrell, and Struik, in history of science, Meek, Dobb,
and Sraffa, in economics, and I am sure I am forgetting other Stalinist
theorists of major importance. Sraffa is a giant, towering in Marxist
economics, even if his neo-Ricardianism is ulrimately indefensible.

Since Jorn mentions ancient Greece, I should probably add GEM de Ste.
Croix, whose Class Struggle in the Ancient World is a little after the
1930-60 period, but is a masterwork.  There is also M.I. Finley and in a
narrower vein the work of Farrell and Struik, mentioned above.


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