Introduction to Henryk Grossman, ‘The Value-Price Transformation in Marx and the Problem of Crisis’

in Historical Materialism
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Whereas most previous and later discussions of Marx’s transformation of values into prices of production have focused on his mathematical procedure, Henryk Grossman addressed the logic of its place in the structure of Capital. On this basis he criticised underconsumptionist and disproportionality theorists of economic crises for inappropriately basing their accounts on the level of analysis of the value schemas in the second volume of Capital. Such a criticism cannot be made of Grossman’s and Marx’s explanation of systemic crises in terms of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall. Grossman’s article still provides insights into Marx’s analysis of capitalism and his theory of economic crises, unsurpassed in the subsequent literature.

Historical Materialism

Research in Critical Marxist Theory


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Grossmann 1992.


Bortkiewicz 1949; Bortkiewicz 1952.


Grossman 2015.


Sweezy 1942, pp. 109–28.


Grossman 2000, p. 171; Grossman 1924; Grossmann 1928, pp. 183–4; but especially Grossmann 1992, n.b. pp. 29–31 and Grossman 2013.


Marx 1981, pp. 278–9.


Marx 1981, pp. 296–8.


Luxemburg 1913, p. 311, uses the term ‘objective form’. Luxemburg’s assumption that the objective form and quantity of commodities constrain the movement of surplus value between departments of production can be identified with the broader, mistaken framework which Kliman calls ‘physicalism’ (Kliman 2007, pp. 13, 35); also see Moseley 1993.


Grossman 2015.


See Carchedi 2011, pp. 53–130; Freeman 2010; Kliman 2007; and Moseley 1993.


Gurland 1930, pp. 79–80.


Neisser 1931, pp. 73–4.


His footnote references Grossmann 1929, pp. 107, 211. In the abridged English translation (Grossmann 1992) the first passage Grossman referred to is missing, while the second has been condensed. For Grossman’s responses to other criticisms of his account of Marx’s crisis theory see Grossman 2014, pp. 76–85.


Marx 1981, pp. 241–313, 317–38.


Marx 1981, pp. 344–8.


Grossmann 1992, pp. 142–201 passim.


Bukharin 1972, especially pp. 269–770.


Day 1981, pp. 148–51, 187, 202–11.


Grossmann 1992, p. 186; Varga 1930a, 1930b.


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