Heinrich Review.

I’ve been deemed suitable to review the work of those far better than me.

About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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6 Responses to Heinrich Review.

  1. CB says:

    Just read your review, I have minor quibble. Heinreich does not say the transformation problem is really a non-problem, he also makes the stronger claim that Marx was wrong in his attempts to solve it:

    “In the third volume of capital, marx sketched out a simple quantitative method of calculation to arrive from a system of value…at a system of production prices. This method of calculation, however, has proven to be wrong” (p.148). You’re right that Heinrich states that they are two different levels of abstraction, but he also states, that Marx’s attempt to solve the TP problem was wrong.

    This is a claim that needs to be considered more deeply, as Andrew Kliman, and Alan Freeman, claim that the problem is actually resolvable within Marx’s system.
    p.s. Just to toot my own horn, I have a review coming out too in February at Marx and Philosophy Review of Books, and also am a philosophy student; nice to find politico-philosophical allies in similar positions 🙂

  2. negative potential says:

    “Heinreich does not say the transformation problem is really a non-problem”

    Actually, he does:

    “Within the framework of a monetary theory of value, there can be no point to any sort of procedure for calculating production prices from values.” (p. 148)

  3. CB says:

    You’re right, my wording is off, but the essence of my message is still retained. I should have said “Heinrich does not JUST say”
    Still, many Marxists are confident that Marx’s attempt to resolve it actually works. How this impacts Heinrich’s thesis, I’m not too sure, but I just wanted to point it out.

    • HR says:

      I agree with the point you make that other Marxists have different solutions to the transformation problem. I didn’t get into them in my review because: (a) I was trying hard not to fuck up the unenviable task of summarizing Heinrich’s intro in less than 2,000 words and (b) the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books style guide recommends that you refrain from citing other people’s work.

  4. negative potential says:

    That whole section is primarily dedicated to arguing that the notion of a “transformation problem” is meaningless from the perspective of a monetary theory of value. Heinrich says Marx’s calculations are wrong, but he only spend a single sentence on that.

    It doesn’t really impact on Heinrich’s thesis; I think he regards the idea that there is anything like a “transformation problem” as a residue of the episteme of classical political economy that can still be found in Marx’s work, despite Marx’s profound break with the theoretical terrain of classical political economy.

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