In this regard, I would say that I was influenced by the Marxist economist Kohzo Uno. He was an economist specializing in Marx’sCapital, but was not part of left politics of any kind, either old or new. In his view, Capital is a science, while historical materialism is an ideology that served as a “guiding thread” toward Capital. Also he claimed thatCapital could prove the necessity of crisis in the capitalist economy, but not the necessity of socialist revolution. I gather that socialism was first and foremost an ethical-practical matter for Uno. He was a kind of Kantian Marxist, though he never said so manifestly.
For Uno, capitalism is basically merchant capitalism. In my view, this is to consider the capitalist economy from the exchange of money and commodity, the mode of exchange, whereas Marxists generally start from the capitalist and proletariat, the mode of production. You can see how Uno paved the way to my theories. But it is true that he did not give any thought to the state and the nation.
This is all to indicate our Marxist current, where I formed my ideas and thoughts. Actually, I learned Uno’s economics not because I was a Marxist, but because I was a student in an economics department. Up to 1970s, Uno’s reading of Capital was compulsory to the students of law and economics at the University of Tokyo. These students were expected to be the elites in the government offices and business world. It is interesting to think that people who learned from Uno about the fatal fragility of capitalism were gathering at the core of the capital-state, just when Japan’s industry was rising and overwhelming the U.S. industry. And as those who learned American market-economy theories replaced them, Japan’s economy began to fall off!