[OPE-L:3334] Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Re: RE: Re: objectivity of value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 23:54:29 EDT

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I think we are talking past each other, but I look forward to your
arguments (as Ajit's, Allin's, and Paul's--and thank you all for
replies)--I am not making an argument against estimating the rate of
exploitation, unprod/prod labor ratio, OCC, though these will be estimates,
complicated by credit and the operations of global capitalism.

I am pursuing another matter here: it seems to me that the point that
Mattick Jr, Carchedi and Fred M have all made about what can be taken as
givens is correct. As Fred puts it, Marx does not take as givens the
physical quantities of the technical conditions of production and the real
wage; at any rate, I would like to see debate about this point of his.

To me, it seems obvious that the linear equations with which are asked by
the neo Ricardians to *begin* could only be drawn up with, if not after,
the price system or the measurement of value, not prior to it. How would
you know that you need to put wheat and iron and pigs into the equations if
these were not the clusters of activities whose output was sold at prices?
how possibly can one determine the average technical conditions of
production in each industry without having determined already through a
price measurement the last marginal producer that will be included in
determining the average technical condition in any industry?

Look I am not an economist, I am just looking at the first chapter of
Spencer J Pack Reconstructing Marxian Economics: Marx Based upon a Sraffian
Commodity Theory of Value, and it seems to me that the Sraffian formalism
from which we are supposed to derive a price system seems like utter
nonsense because the price system is presupposed in the writing of the
putatively prior equations. But I could be very, very wrong.

Yours, Rakesh

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