E M S NAMBOODIRIPAD
On Joan Robinsons Criticism of Marx
IN an earlier article, "How Not to Study Marx", (Social Scientist y September 1972) I had assessed Marx as the theoretician of the revolutionary proletariat. It is, according to me, wrong to place him, along with Marshall and Keynes, among the erudite scholars of political economy, as Joan Robinson has done in her lecture entitled ^Marx, Marshall and Keynes". Mrs Robinson in her reply says :
Whatever else he may have been, Marx was a scholar of political economy. He started from a philosophical position and then found it necessary to study political economy and in doing so he made great original contributions to the subject.
She charges me with being "not interested in political economy", "not wanting to take the trouble to understand it" and so forth.
I may inform her that, though not a professional economist, though not equipped with that adequate knowledge of the subject which would enable me to have a dialogue with a world-renowned economist like her, I am deeply interested in political economy and want to understand it, as every serious Marxist should. My quarrel with her is on the basic question:
what is political economy ? Is it the science which teaches