Marx’s reproduction schema

Recently, I made a short presentation to a discussion group of the Communist Party of India (M) youth on Marx’s reproduction schema.  I thought the subject might also be worth a post on my blog. 

Marx’s reproduction schema are to be found in Capital Volume Two Part 3 chapters 18 to 21. What are these reproduction schema?  It is, as Marx put it, about: “the process of circulation (which in its entirety is a form of the process of reproduction) …. of aggregate social capital.”  In other words, how capital (money and commodities) circulates at the macro level of an economy, in order to reproduce itself so that a new period of production and accumulation of capital can recommence.

Marx shows this process of circulation and reproduction by dividing aggregate social capital into two departments: one that reproduces capital goods or means of production and one that reproduces consumer goods or means of consumption.  There could be more departments, but Marx’s division is not arbitrary because he wants to show the class nature of capitalist accumulation and reproduction; with one department that produces capital’s means of production and one that produces labour’s necessary consumer goods.  The latter can be divided further into a ‘luxury goods’ department for capitalists’ own consumption, but this sub-department is not analytically essential in Marx’s reproduction schema (contrary to the views of many neo-Ricardians and some Marxists).

What does Marx want to show with the reproduction schema?  He wants to show: first, how capital reproduces itself in these two departments; and second, he wants to compare the reproduction of capital without any extra accumulation (called simple reproduction) and the reproduction of capital when it accumulates (grows), which he calls expanded or extended reproduction.

The schemes assume that there is no technological progress, so growth (expanded reproduction) can occur only if a greater amount of means of production is obtained.  Marx’s schemes also assume a closed economy. So additional means of production cannot be had from any reserves held in warehouses etc. 

In simple reproduction, Department I (means of production) and Department II (means of consumption) grow at the same (zero) rate.  Below is a table taken from the excellent paper on the schema by Andrew Kliman, drawing on the work of Dunayevskaya. 

In this example of simple reproduction, both departments are the same size.  But where does Department II (consumer goods) get its means of production in order to produce consumer goods equivalent to 500 in value?  The consumer goods capitalists in Department II need 250c in value of means of production. The answer is that the consumer goods capitalists buy their 250c means of production from the capital goods capitalists in Department I.  And that is possible because it is the amount of new value produced by the capital goods capitalists in Department I (v100+s150).  Thus we have the formula for simple reproduction: c2 = v1+ s1.  This shows how capital circulates between the two departments in a zero-growth economy. 

But what about a growing economy, what Marx called extended or expanded reproduction?  Growth in a closed economy is only possible if extra value is added to investment in means of production.  So Department I must be larger.  That can happen if some of the newly produced means of production that Department II would have obtained are instead diverted to Department I. This gives Department I the additional means of production it needs.

In Kliman’s example, Department I gets an extra 50c in means of production and Department II’s investment in means of production is reduced by that amount.  As a result, given the same ratios for c/v and s/v, production rises in Department I to 600 and falls in Department II to 400.  See Year 2 below. 

In the following Year 3, the 600 previously produced in means of production is distributed in the same ratio between Departments I and II as in Year 2.  Now both departments have more invested in means of production and so both can grow (in total from 1000 in value in Year 2 to 1200 in Year 3. 

The transition from simple to expanded reproduction requires unbalanced growth. Department I must grow relative to Department II.  That does not mean that the consumer goods sector must decline absolutely, except maybe when ‘starting from scratch’ with zero growth.  Subsequently, Department II can grow.  Indeed, the two departments could then grow at the same rate, as they do in Marx’s own examples of expanded reproduction.  But the relative imbalance will persist. Department I will remain relatively larger than Department II under expanded reproduction than under simple reproduction.  Thus Marx’s schema show that the departments are never in ‘equilibrium’ if we mean by that that they are both the same size and must grow together at the same pace. 

Marx developed the reproduction schema not to show that the capitalism can accumulate harmoniously or in equilibrium.  This idea was the view adopted by Marxists after Marx, such as Bauer and Kautsky, who took the reproduction schemas to show that undisturbed accumulation can take place under capitalism and crises could be avoided.  Hilferding concluded that crises were due to disproportionalities between Departments 1 and 2 but these could be avoided by thorough planning: “in capitalist production both reproduction on a simple as well as on an extended scale can proceed undisturbed if only these proportions are maintained’. Then capitalism could grow without crises.

Rosa Luxemburg also misunderstood Marx’s schema but from the opposite view.  She thought the imbalance between the size of Department I and Department II over time was the cause of crises because consumption would be insufficient to realise all the production of capital goods.  She thought here was a chronic imbalance of investment over consumption that Marx did not recognise and this was key to crises.

But Marx’s reproduction schema were not designed to show that capital can either accumulate harmoniously, or alternatively generate chronic crises of under-consumption.  Yes, capital does not accumulate in a harmonious way. As Marx says, “demand and supply never coincide or if they do, only by chance and thus not to be taken into account or for scientific purpose, it should be considered as not having happened.”  That means that are “so many possibilities of crises, since a balance is itself an accident owing to the spontaneous nature of this production”.  But if supply grows faster in Department I than in Department II, that does not imply a chronic, secular shortfall in effective demand, as Luxemburg thought. Investment demand can grow faster than consumer demand without crises.

Marx’s simple reproduction requires a “balance” (an equality) between the new value generated in Department I (vI + sI) and Department II’s demand for constant capital (c2). But expanded reproduction requires that the new value generated in Department I exceeds Department II’s demand for constant capital.  As Lenin put it: “Marx demonstrated clearly in his schemes, the production of the means of production can and must outstrip the production of articles of consumption.”  Contrary to Luxemburg’s conclusion of crises flowing from the imbalance, Marx took the opposite view that the imbalance was necessary for growth, otherwise, “there would be no capitalist production at all if it had to develop simultaneously and evenly in all spheres.”

Indeed, an expanding capitalist economy with a larger Department I than Department II expresses the general law of capitalist accumulation, namely a faster rise in constant capital over variable capital, or a rising organic composition of capital.  “Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets! … Accumulation for the sake of accumulation, production for the sake of production: this was the formula in which classical economics expressed the historical mission of the bourgeoisie in the period of its domination. Thus the capitalist economy increasingly becomes a system of production for production’s sake.” As Marx says: “It will never do, therefore, to represent capitalist production as something which it is not, namely as production having for its immediate purpose the consumption of goods or the production of means of enjoyment, for capitalists. This would be overlooking the specific character of capitalist production.”

Actually, Luxemburg herself saw the relation between the imbalance in the reproduction schema and the rising organic composition of capital and thus Marx’s law of profitability: “The quicker growth of Department I as against Department II is beyond dispute …. It is the foundation also of Marx’s fundamental law that the rate of profit tends to fall.”  Exactly!  But she failed to recognise was that this meant the cause of crises lay in the profitability of capital, not in the imbalance between the departments of reproduction of capital.  The reproduction schema abstract from the cause of crises as such, which, in Marx’s theory, is to be found in the factors driving falling profitability, namely labour-saving technological changes and the concomitant increases in productivity.  

Indeed, when you think about it, the reproduction schema show the very nature of economic growth namely, using more of the value produced in the previous period to invest in extra means of production and labour to increase total value in the new period.  That’s the logic of the schema and empirically it’s the reality.  Kliman provides evidence that in the US, investment demand was 72 times as large as in 1933, while GDP was only 18 times as large and personal consumption demand was only 15 times as large (see graph below).

Indeed, as Kliman says, the reproduction schemes provide a model for the so-called “take-off” process in industrialisation as experienced in early 19th century Britain, late 19th century Japan and early 20th century Russia.  In each case the immediate result is that the benefits of rising production do not mostly go to the classes that would consume, ie peasants or wage earners, but instead into the profits of capitalists (Britain) or into a state surplus (Soviet Union), where the proceeds are used for further capital formation.  So the reproduction schema can be applied to understanding the process of growth in both capitalist and planned economies (‘primitive socialist accumulation’). 

You would expect a fast-growing economy to have faster growth in investment than consumption.  But that does not mean consumption will not rise also.  On the contrary, as investment delivers more value, consumption can also expand more quickly than in economies with low investment and GDP growth.  A good example of this is China’s ‘take-off’.  China has had a very high investment to GDP ratio  (graph below).

Mainstream economists, especially Keynesians, reckon that this is bad news for workers’ consumption and needs to be reversed.  They base their case on China’s supposedly low personal consumption to GDP ratio compared to the advanced capitalist economies.  But that’s not really true.  If you strip out private health spending from the US consumption ratio to GDP (see graph below) and on the other hand add various social consumption spending (health, education, transport, etc) to China’s personal consumption ratio, the supposed gap to the US and other G7 countries is narrowed considerably. 

Moreover, contrary to the Keynesian argument,  personal consumption growth in China has been way faster than in any advanced capitalist economy in the last ten years.  Why? Because investment and GDP growth has been much faster. 

China’s huge ‘imbalance’ of investment in capital goods compared to consumption may have restricted wage growth, but not compared to countries that have not invested and grown as fast.  In the 2010s, wage growth in China rose 73%, compared to India at 43%, the US at 11% and the UK at just 3%.

Indeed, even mainstream growth models reach the same conclusion as in Marx’s reproduction schema.  In the Keynesian-style Harrod-Domar growth model, full employment and maximum growth potential require that investment in each period be greater than savings in the previous year.  Domar comments that the model shows “that it is not sufficient, in Keynesian terms, that savings of yesterday be invested today, or . . . that investment offset saving. Investment of today must always exceed savings of yesterday.”

The Keynesian growth model talks of the ‘savings function’; for Marx, savings are profits because workers do not save, so there is a class aspect to his reproduction model.  For Marx, the rate of growth of the economy depends on the proportion of surplus value that is accumulated rather than spent on capitalists’ consumption; on the rate of exploitation of labour producing the surplus value and on the organic composition of capital, setting the relative investment of profits into technology or labour.  The Keynesian Harrod-Domar model is similar.  Here the growth rate depends on the “marginal propensity to save” (in Marxist terms, the amount of profits reinvested) and the productivity of that investment (in Marxist terms, the rate of profit).  Most important, in both models it is the previous period’s savings (profits) that sets the level of investment in the next period.

But there is an important difference between the Keynesian growth model and that of Marx.  In both models, for growth, investment must outstrip consumption; but for Marx, under capitalism, that investment growth depends on profitability, while in a post-capitalist economy, investment depends on state planning decisions.  Keynes makes no such distinction and thus ignores the real cause of crises in capitalism.

21 thoughts on “Marx’s reproduction schema

  1. It is important that abstractions are anchored in reality. This said, it is necessary not unnecessary to split department 2 into two, or A and B. Otherwise it is impossible to distinguish between capital and revenue and their differing circuits. It is of course a forced abstraction to use the example from Kliman as you do in the input output tables in Year 2. Why? because in all cases v + s must equal the output of Department 2. In your copied tables there is an assumption that 20 labour power has been redeployed from department two to one together with the means of production of 50, substantiated by the recognition of an unaltered rate of exploitation of 150% and an unaltered composition of capital. Production rises in department 1 at the expense of department 2.

    But here lies the problem. If the output of 2 is diminished while 1 is expanded, then who suffers the fall in the production of articles of consumption (produced in 2)?

    v + s in year 2 equals 500 but the output of department 2 is only 400. There is a loss in personal consumption of 100 making the tables a forced abstraction. Even in year 3, v + s equals 600 but the output of 2 only 480. No wonder there was such confusion over disproportionality between the departments. Now if we assume v to represent the value of labour power measured biologically (remembering we are dealing with simple or primitive reproduction) then workers would be starving due to the insufficiency of articles of consumption. They would have unspent cash in their pockets but no food in their stomachs.

    So what is the solution. What it always was over the last two hundred years – the conversion of revenue into capital, the conversion of unproductive consumption into productive consumption. When this is understood and only when this is understood is the revolutionary comprehension of what is really happening, appreciated. The problem is not disproportionality, it is about the relation between revenue and capital. It is the problem of the capitalist not converting the growing stream of revenue into capital, or of the capitalist withdrawing capital because of the falling rate of profit and thus converting capital into frozen revenue. The crisis of capitalism is all about the productive and unproductive consumption by the capitalist class of the surplus of society or not, as moderated by profitability. It ends when society takes command of the surplus of society and uses it for the common good. Incidentally if the state took over the surplus of society, even a workers state, disempowering society, we would be repeating the mistakes found in the USSR.

    Otherwise an excellent article.

    1. I am responding to Michael Roberts

      You are probably correct in your critique of Rosa Luxemburg. My copy of the Accumulation of Capital has an introduction by Joan Robinson, probably because Robinson saw in Rosa’s argument a bit of Keynes. If so she was dead wrong.

      Luxemburg was a strong supporter of the labor theory of value and trpf. In my view most marxists (even vk in his comments bellow) tend to underestimate the depth of her understanding of Marx, who based his dialectic on the premise that the physical always provides the final proof of the relative truthful or fictive nature of phenomenological observations and calculations. I happen to be in the middle of Capital, vol 3, trying to make sense (in old age) of the section on the Transformation of Commodity Capital into Money Capital. Luxemburg taught me to keep my eye on the ball, not the juggler, not easy for old, tired eyes…

      Luxemburg’s argument rests on her understand of what Marx meant by his characterization of the process and products of “primitive accumulation” of industrial capital as “dripping with blood”. With little poetic license Luxemburg took the metaphor literally. If Marx was the first of the minority marxists to understand the inherently violent and global nature of modern capitalism and to suggest its “center/periphery structure”, Luxemburg was the second. She was also the second marxist to understand why expanded reproduction of the imperial system has necessarily remained violent and increasingly destructive. She had a deep enough understanding what Marx was about to have not needed to read the Grundrissa.

      Most post war marxists (like Elen Meiksins Wood) explained the capitalist global system as exploitative, but but not imperialist and basically non-violently, maintaining and reproducing itself by the sheer market power of Western monopolies. Such marxists viewed the genocidal wars against Korea and Vietnam, maybe with horror, but as basically political (anticommunist) in nature. Some marxists were anticommunists themselves… Meanwhile the golden age of capitalism co-existed with the endless violent interventions in Latin America, including the little genocides in Guatemala and El Salvador, the growth of NATO (matched by the diminution of the UN) and 1000 US/NATO military bases.

      Despite the privatization of everything and endless wars that apologetic outlook holds on, though increasingly challenged but mostly by marxists in the peripheries… and, I would add, reality.

      Luxemburg argued that the shifting around of numbers (from department 2 to 1) by Marx were intended, not to show how the capitalist mode of production provides the surplus of goods and valorizing workers’ wages needed to pay for the expanded reproduction of the means of production, but—giving the system its due—to reveal why capitalism as a closed system of production for profit cannot cannot produce enough revenue to convert into real money capital for investment. How then is expanded reproduction of the means production paid for? Her answer is by the booty of wars and threat of war—destruction/investment/appropriation/forced and super-exploited labor. This is not the place to defend her position, nor am I qualified to do that.

      But overwhelming empirical evidence certainly supports her conclusion: socialism or barbarism!

    2. “It is important that abstraction are anchored in reality”.

      I should have thanked you for making most of the points I used in defending Luxemburg’s critique.

      One should always keep in mind capitalism’s concrete social relation, how it is formed and its various evolutions from that formation. Frederick Jameson put both together is his quip that capitalism’s first product was unemployment: linking the uprooting and alienating of laboring populations to labor shedding innovations of the means of production.

      Marx said somewhere that in the final analysis, the capitalist mode of production, unimpeded, inevitably leads to the absolute impoverishemt and mass starvation of the laboring class.

      1. “They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger. They are driven by greed if their enemy be rich, by ambition if poor. They ravage and slaughter, they seize by false pretense. And all of this they hail as construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call it peace.”

        Fighting capitalism with capitalism–the only ploy open to China because of capitalism’s successsful subversion and dispersion of socialism within the US and its post-colonial satrapies–might have run its course…but which does Tacitus best describe, US/NATO or China? You disappoint me. The others here who piously rail against China’s contradictions, should deal with their own rather than help the real imperialists pave the road to war.

      2. True Marx said the causes of crisis in the final analysis is the depressed consumption of the masses. But the obverse is also true and it is the depressed consumption by the capitalist class, specifically productive consumption, caused by the periodic collapse in profitability, that is the IMMEDIATE cause of recessions or crises.

  2. “Marx developed the reproduction schema not to show that the capitalism can accumulate harmoniously or in equilibrium. This idea was the view adopted by Marxists after Marx, such as Bauer and Kautsky, who took the reproduction schemas to show that undisturbed accumulation can take place under capitalism and crises could be avoided. Hilferding concluded that crises were due to disproportionalities between Departments 1 and 2 but these could be avoided by thorough planning: “in capitalist production both reproduction on a simple as well as on an extended scale can proceed undisturbed if only these proportions are maintained’. Then capitalism could grow without crises.

    Rosa Luxemburg also misunderstood Marx’s schema but from the opposite view. She thought the imbalance between the size of Department I and Department II over time was the cause of crises because consumption would be insufficient to realise all the production of capital goods. She thought here was a chronic imbalance of investment over consumption that Marx did not recognise and this was key to crises.”

    They had to believe in this false interpretation. They were, at the time they published those ideas, in a ferocious political fight against Bolshevism in Western Europe. They were defending Social-Democracy point of view. This was particularly the case with Kautsky, but he was not the only case (Luxemburg wrote a mea culpa in her last article, but that was after her political defeat already was a fait accompli).

    It is impossible to separate Kautsky, Luxemburg et al from their political side – one cannot isolate their “theories” as if they were pure intellectuals without understanding their “politician” side. Not only one cannot do that, but it is more realistic to treat them as politicians first, intellectuals second – for them, social-democrat supremacy was the first and foremost priority, intellectual-scientific rigor coming a distant second place if much. Their works must be treated as political, not economic-theoretical, if you want to extract real information (i.e. the correct historical perspective) from them.

    It is a myth those German Social-Democrats simply made a mistake on their interpretation of Marx. They had to come up with an interpretation that fit the social-democrat point of view against revolutionary communism of the Russians; they had to believe capitalism would either survive forever or collapse automatically without any “push” in the distant future because their political survival depended on that premise (that they had to come to pains to distort Marx’s magnum opus to do that is more a testament to Marx’s unavoidable greatness than anything else). They were not even close to Marx’s intellectual level and erudition, but they were not nincompoops either.

    1. Excellent point! Indeed political needs matter.
      But:
      1. “Social-democrats” in the times previous to Russian revolution were not far from bolsheviks, which indeed where the russian social-democrats.
      2. Among “german social-democrats” you cannot put together Kautsky and Luxemburg. If the former (a “renegade” for Lenin) wanted to oppose the revolutionary communism of the Russians, Luxemburg was the “bolshevik” comunism head in Germany, and so she was considered by Lenin, like a comrade, despite their certain differences on this point (Lenin criticizing the “underconsumism” theoretic mistake of Luxemburg).

    2. As a politician, Luxemburg is much more strongly characterized by the works The Mass Strike, Social Reform or Revolution and the Junius pamphlet. Even worse, the Bolshevik revolution came years after the publication of The Accumulation of Capital. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is an easy fallacy. But concluding the effect came before the cause shows true commitment to error!

      Her 1904 article Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy was prompted by the original Bolshevik/Menshevik split in 1903. Trotsky was vehemently anti-Bolshevik then too, so it seems quite foolhardy to conclude Luxemburg was always so. (It was later social democrats who re-titled this article as “Leninism or Marxism?”

      1. @ stevenjohnson

        The heated debates between the German social-democrats and the Bolsheviks (which include the one by Rosa Luxemburg) predates the October Revolution.

        There’s a difference between disagreeing with the Bolsheviks and being anti-Bolshevik. Trotsky disagreed with the Bolsheviks; the Social-Democrats were outright anti-Bolsheviks.

      2. Trotsky’s notorious Our Political Tasks, the one which accused Lenin of dictatorship, was more anti-Bolshevik than Luxemburg’s Organizational Questions.

    3. “Their works must be treated as political, not economic-theoretical, if you want to extract real information (i.e. the correct historical perspective) from them.”

      One ought to keep this in mind when reading VK’s own pronouncements, and keep in mind also that VK pretty much misrepresents Rosa Luxemburg and her work and prevents a recognition of the “correct historical perspective.”

      First, Rosa’s Accumulation was written in 1913. Neither she, nor German Social Democracy were in a “ferocious political fight with Bolshevism,” at that time.

      Secondly, it’s simply absurd to lump Luxemburg with Kautsky, Hilferding etc. when the Accumulation was written to counter the notions of perpetual development being promoted by the center of the SPD.

      Thirdly, right, you can’t separate the political from the economic in Kautsky, Hilferding, Luxemburg, or Lenin or Trotsky, but you can certainly separate the politics of Luxemburg from those of Kautsky, Hilferding, etc. who either supported their own bourgeoise in WW1 or “abstained.” Rosa adamantly opposed any support or silence regarding the bourgeoisie during WW1, and prior to that had opposed the increasing centrism and reformism in the SPD in all her written and spoken works.

      Rosa’s concern was the mistakes she detected in Marx’s reproduction scheme which, she argued, allowed for a system of uninterrupted accumulation. In this she was acting in the best tradition of Marx himself, “merciless criticism of everything in existence,” and as revolutionist, not a politician or a “scientist.”

      I think the very act of lumping Luxemburg with Kautsky is counter-historical, anti-scientific, and an ideological, not Marxist position.

      1. Evidently, after Rosa Luxemburg’s death, anti-Bolshevism in Social-Democracy only got stronger. That doesn’t exempt her and her faction from the label.

        It is not only wrong, but even unfair to Rosa Luxemburg to treat her works as academic-grade. Her accumulation book was written by her in a very short time, because she had to minister a short course on Marxism. She wasn’t even worried about being a full-fledged intellectual. Her mind was always political.

        The generations that followed Marx weren’t worried about re-founding his theory or founding entirely new theories. They all agreed Marx’s theory was complete – the only disagreement was how to apply it to the real world, in their specific circumstances. The closest thing you have to an attempt to falsify Marx’s own writings after his death was, maybe, Kautsky (the gravest case of anti-Bolshevism degenerating into anti-Marxism). I agree Luxemburg is not on the same level of degeneration of Kautsky, but she was an anti-Bolshevik – as were all the Social-Democrats of her time. I’m not accusing Luxemburg of any crime or heresy, it’s just how things were during the 00s to the 30s.

        Social-Demcracy degenerated fast after the failure of the German Revolution. After WWII, it was destroyed as a political force alongside the Third Reich – surviving only in the isolated place of Scandinavia and Denmark. English trade-unionism (Labour) took the mantle of Social-Democracy (and its name) during the Golden Age of Capitalism (1945-1975), in a way so effective and successful that many people from the Boomer generation on talk of trade-unionism as if it was social-democracy (it is not: Social-Democracy still believed in the ultimate transition from capitalism to communism; trade-unionism does not). Trade-Unionism was finally destroyed by the neoliberal reforms of 1979-1980.

        Nowadays, what we have in the West is a confuse and heterogeneous soup that mix the fragments and remnants of Social-Democratic and Trade-Unionist elements.

  3. It is a minor matter but you wrote:

    <>

    Dept II not only produces “…labour’s necessary consumer goods…” and “‘luxury goods’…for capitalists’ own consumption…” but also the capitalist’s “necessary consumer goods”, e.g. toilet paper. That is goods that are necessary to (and purchasable by) both workers and capitalists.

  4. I am curious if you would be able to suggest, in a pedagogical light, how members of the working class could best come to understand Marx’s reproduction schemes. I am familiar with some articles on the reproduction schemes (such as Naqvi and Donald J. Harris), but they are tough going. Would it be possible to provide a series list of articles (or sections in books) that move from a basic understanding of the reproduction schemes to more and more complex approaches?

    1. Regarding the pedagogical request, The Hollow Colossus uses the concept of reproduction circuits to explain why U.S. workers’ real median earnings have stagnated and fallen since 1973. The book does it with words and numbers, no diagrams or tables of the circuits, no algebra.

  5. The article notes that the reproduction tables in Capital II assume no technological progress. Unfortunately, the article jumps to real-world situations without carefully observing this point. For example, China’s industrialization includes much technological progress; this allows two developments at once: 1. the material situation of workers improves, because value is embodied in an increasing amount and variety of consumption goods and services, while 2. class inequality polarizes tremendously. The Gini coefficient was around 0.15 before Deng Xiaoping’s reversal of socialism to capitalism; today the Gini approaches 0.50 and is close to the U.S. Gini. In addition, labor becomes drastically more alienated, too, but quantifying that is another topic.

  6. ”there were three Bolshevik fractions by the eve of the First World War: the Lenin group, the Left-Bolsheviks (Vpered) and the Bolshevik-Conciliators (Primirentsy). The Mensheviks divided into the Golos group around Martov, Dan and Martynov, and the Party-Menshevik supporters of Plekhanov (who insisted that he did not belong to any fraction). The old “Bolshevik-Menshevik” dichotomy and identification of Bolshevism with the Lenin group can no longer be sustained” Comment by John Biggart from”Marx and Philosophy” (June 25th). We must avoid retrospectively viewing matters through the lens of Lenin versus the others.

  7. This is a great article, but it lacks the overview of late Soviet-style Department I over-dominance. I.e. such a planning, that production of MoPs squeezes production of consumer goods out of investments and workforce. Say, USSR was selling MoPs to West Germany, or cars to UK, or building dams, roads, powerplants and such in Africa and Asia, while getting back for such a trade consumer goods – oftentimes produced with those same Soviet-made MoPs! With late USSR refusing to use those same MoPs at home to produce consumer goods it imported internally.

  8. Excellent as ever.

    On Tue, 6 Jul 2021 at 08:52, Michael Roberts Blog wrote:

    > michael roberts posted: ” Recently, I made a short presentation to a > discussion group of the Communist Party of India (M) youth on Marx’s > reproduction schema. I thought the subject might also be worth a post on > my blog. Marx’s reproduction schema are to be found in Capital V” >

  9. I think at least nowadays the Harrod-Domar-model is presented mathematically as a steady-state growth model. The organic composition of capital v=K/Y is taken as a constant. The savings rate at the same time the rate of investment s=S/Y = I/Y is also a given constant. As a result a steady-state rate of growth can be computed. Left wing economists claim this equilibrium growth needs state assistance whereas right wing economists claim this rate of growth comes about through market forces.

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