[OPE-L:7578] [OPE-L:1128] Re: Re: A Review of Lapides' Marx's Wage theory

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Mon Sep 06 1999 - 14:56:46 EDT

Jurriaan Bendien wrote:

> Thank you Ajit for your review. I was wondering whether to buy Lapides book
> but I don't think I will !


It was not my intention to affect the sale of the book.

> You write:
> The historical experience suggests that the rates of labor
> >saving technical change and the population growth have been much lower
> >than what Marx had expected. Instead of excess supply of labor problem,
> >the advanced capitalist economies seem to have experienced excess demand
> >problemówitness the huge immigration of labor into the advanced
> >capitalist countries in the last century. Thus the historical experience
> >tilted the forces of demand and supply in favor of the working class,
> >and thus their struggle succeeded in gaining the real wage advances.
> Are you saying there was a net inward immigration into the imperialist
> countries in the 19th century ? As regards immiseration, I recall Immanuel
> Wallerstein saying once that Marx's immiseration thesis, although not
> applicable to the imperialist countries, did succeed rather well on a world
> scale. How many unemployed are there in the world today ? Over a billion ?


I don't know about the 19th century, but I think my comment about the 20th
century is true. Furthermore, I think the significant rise in real wages have
come about in the 20th century and not the 19th century. On Wallerstein's
comment, see my response to Paul Zarembka. One problem I have with many
defenders of Marx on this point such as Rosdolsky etc. is that first they would
deny that there is any such thing as absolute immiseration thesis in Marx. And
when they realize that the reader may not be convienced, they go around
suggesting that the immiseration thesis has proven true on the world scale. I
get the feeling that some of these people wanna have their cake and eat it too.
Cheers, ajit sinha

> Cheers
> Jurriaan

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