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A Reply to Fine, Lapavitsas and Milonakis

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image of Historical Materialism

I should like to thank Ben Fine, Costas Lapavitsas and Dimitris Milonakis for their stimulating and detailed comments. In the limited space available, I cannot respond to every criticism. A number of criticisms appear to be a matter of mere semantics. In the Marxian literature, the term ‘crisis’ is often used to refer to extended downturns as well as to short and sharp declines. And Marx himself defines the organic composition of capital as the value composition considered ‘in so far as this is determined by its technical composition and reflects it’, which is how the value composition is considered in my paper. Nor will I respond to the charge that my ‘use of Grossmann is mechanical and unpersuasive’, since I am not sure what exactly the objection is. Firstly, I will take up the criticisms regarding the logical structure of Capital. Then I move on to consider one substantive issue raised regarding the tendency for the falling rate of profit. I will next respond to criticism of my treatment of the relation between systematic and historical dialectics. Finally, I respond to criticism of my main thesis overall.


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