Magazine article Monthly Review

Wolff and Resnick Defended

Magazine article Monthly Review

Wolff and Resnick Defended

Article excerpt

I write in defense of the work of Richard C. Wolff andStephen A. Resnick. Their Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical was reviewed unfavorably by W.H. Locke Anderson ("A Civics Lesson," Monthly Review, May 1988), but MR readers should take a close look at this work as well as the authors' more important Knowledge and Class: A Marxian Critique of Political Economy (University of Chicago Press, 1987), and the new journal Rethinking Marxism, founded by Resnick and Wolff along with other colleagues.

There are several problems with Anderson's review. First, he does not reveal the substance of Wolff and Resnick's book, how they distinguish between Marxism and neoclassical theories and the origins and evolution of these theories. Anderson alludes to the influence of Althusser and other philosophers whose "correct" theories presumably have tainted the work of Resnick and Wolff, but he obscures both content and intent, Second, Anderson misses altogether the pedagogical purpose of juxtaposing Marxian and neoclassical theories. Wolff and Resnick's Economics is an introductory text designed to show readers that differences between these theories are real and meaningful.

A friend who has been struggling to understand Marx and Marxian theory recently read this text and emerged with a clear understanding that now allows her to work more comfortably in a Marxist tradition. …

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