Just as US capitalism pitched back into depression in 1937, a mathematical economist from Harvard, Wassily Leontief, gave the following assessment of Marx’s critique of political economy.

The record is indeed impressive: increasing concentration of wealth, rapid elimination of small and medium-sized enterprises, progressive limitation of competition, incessant technological progress accompanied by an ever-growing importance of fixed capital, and last, but not least the undiminishing amplitude of recurrent business cycles – an unsurpassed series of prognostications fulfilled, against which modern economic theory with all its refinements has little to show.”

If one wants to learn what profits and wages and capitalist enterprises actually are, he can obtain in the three volumes of Capital more realistic and relevant first-hand information than he could possibly hope to find in ten successive issues of the U. S. Census (or) a dozen textbooks on contemporary economic institutions.”

Wassily Leontief, Proceedings of the Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, 1937, American Economic Review Supplement, March 1958, pp. 5 and 9.

Leontief drew on Marx’s connecting of investments for production and consumption in Volume Two of Capital to produce his own input-output tables, which attracted the fake Nobel Prize for so-called Economic Science in 1973.

Submitted by Humphrey McQueen
November 2008