[OPE-L:3858] Re: Rational expectations Marxism

From: Andrew_Kliman (Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 10:51:23 EDT

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I wrote in OPE-L 3854, "I said nothing about [Steve Keen]. I responded
strictly to his arguments, which spoke for themselves, which I
characterized as physicalist (not Sraffian), and which he finally
conceded were incoherent."

Although Steve (OPE-L 3855) has responded "Not so Andrew," he has failed
to tell us exactly what in my statement is "not so," or why. I stand by
what I wrote.

On another matter, Steve writes that I "ingored the entire issue of my
argument that, contrary to your
assertion that Marx took labor as the source of value as a premise [in
Chapter 8 of _Capital_ I], Marx
tried *unsuccessfully* to derive this proposition from his dialectical
analysis of the commodity.

"... You have never joined issue with me over dialectics and the
derivation of the labor thoery of value."

But I haven't ignored it. Both when Steve spoke at the New School and in
a post to the PKT list on May 25, 2000, I have "suggest[ed] that the real
test of the opposing interpretations, in this case as in general, is
which can best make coherent sense of the text(s) as a whole. Does the
interpretation yield a coherent value theory, or one beset by logical
errors? On the basis of this well-established hermenuetic principle, I
would suggest that Steve's interpretation fails."

Steve quoted this comment and responded to it in a post to the PKT list
on May 29. He said he *agreed* with what I had written, but "this leads
to me the opposite conclusion to Andrew--since I don't believe my
approach is beset with logical problems."

I responded to this on June 4, again on the PKT list:

"Steve, you have misunderstood. I did not suggest that your APPROACH is
beset with logical problems. Your INTERPRETATION of Marx's value theory
is beset with logical problems. You yourself concede that when
interpreted as you interpet it, "Marx's" theory becomes logically
incoherent. Now whose fault is that? Marx's? Or yours?

"Unless you can *demonstrate* that it is Marx's own fault, you are not
entitled to claim that his actual theory, rather than your interpretation
of his theory, his theory as *you* interpret it, is logically incoherent.
But the only way you could demonstrate that it is Marx's own fault would
which his theory is coherent. I suggest that you will not be able to
demonstrate this. In any case, you certainly haven't done so yet, so you
are not entitled to claim that the incoherence arises from Marx's own
texts, rather than from the manner in which you have construed these

"I suggest that the fault lies in your interpretation. Drop the premise
that Marx was out to "prove" that value is determined by labor-time in
Ch. 8 of _Capital_. I have shown that this premise of yours is
contradicted by his letter to Kugelmann written shortly after _Capital_
first appeared. Once you drop it, and instead consider Ch. 8 as a
working-out of how value is transferred and added on the BASIS of his
theory that value is determined by labor-time, then what you regard as
"Marx's" logical errors simply vanish."

On the same day, Steve responded at length (posting to PKT and to this
list). However, his response did not deal with my points that (a) the
real test of the opposing interpretations, in this case as in general, is
which can best make coherent sense of the text(s) as a whole, and (b) his
interpretation is "beset with logical problems" because, as he interprets
it, "'Marx's' theory becomes logically incoherent."

He instead reiterated his argument in favor of his interpretation. But
that is neither here nor there. Unless his interpretation is the only
one possible -- and Steve seems to acknowledge that this isn't the
case -- I continue to suggest that that, all arguments and evidence
brought forth in favor of it notwithstanding, it must be rejected on
grounds (a) and (b).

Andrew Kliman

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