[OPE-L:3875] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: m in Marx's theory

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Sun Sep 24 2000 - 08:55:31 EDT

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Fred B. Moseley wrote:

> This is a response to Ajit's (3833). I am sorry that I am falling further
> behind in responding to others. I hope to have more time next week.
> Ajit, to begin with, I really do not appreciate your condescending
> personal insults. I am trying to engage in serious debate and consider
> your points and criticisms seriously, and respond to them at some
> length. But you respond with insults. I have been trying to ignore the
> insults and carry on the debate, but unfortunately the ratio of insults to
> serious debate increased sharply in your last post. So, I ask you to
> please dispense with the insults and continue with the debate.


I'm really sorry Fred if some of my remarks caused you hurt. I just got a bit too
frustrated. I'm under so much of work load these days that I'm unable to make any
progress on my research--and unfortunately nothing of all this has to do with Marx.
When i got into a debate with you, I never thought it will take so much of my time.
But in anycase, it's no excuse for hurting someone's feelings.

> On Mon, 18 Sep 2000, Ajit Sinha wrote:
> >
> > _____________________Fred, basically your S is equal to (m.L - V), i.e. S =
> > (m.L - V), where according to you, you know your L and V but not m. Thus your
> > S is neither known in absolute terms nor to any degree of "proposnality". This
> > is so simple that i cannot believe I have to explain it to you so many times.
> >
> Ajit, I am afraid that you haven't explained it even once yet. I have
> argued that Marx's theory concludes that the magnitude of surplus-value is
> proportional to surplus labor-time, with m as the factor of
> proportionality (i.e. S = m Ls). Why isn't this determination up to a
> factor of proportionality? Please be specific. What more is needed to
> make this equation determination up to a factor of proportionality? If m
> were determined, then the absolute magnitude of S would be
> determined. But if m is not determined, then the magnitude of S is
> determined up to a factor of proportionality. Why not?


It is because in your theory the Ls is an unknown. According to you, the knowns are
L and V, from which you derive Ls as Ls = (L - V/m). Thus your S is equal to (m.L -
V), and so it's not proportional to m. In this case you again have two unknowns S
and m but only one equation. Your system is indeterminate.

> I would really appreciate some comments by other listmembers on this key
> specific point. How else are we going to resolve this dispute? Am I
> missing something or is Ajit? If Marx's theory concludes that S = m Ls,
> doesn't this determine S up to a factor of proportionality? If not, why
> not?


I have seen Gil has already responded. Others can do the same.

> > > Fred:
> > >
> > > Ajit did not respond to my argument in (3815) about COMPARED TO WHAT? So
> > > I repeat a part of that argument, and then continue.
> >
> > _____________________
> >
> > I'm not interested in comparing your theory to any theory. Even if only your
> > theory existed in the world, my criticisms will stand. It basically states
> > that your theory is inconsistent and does not achieve what it claims to
> > achieve. It has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of any other
> > theory.
> > ___________________
> I have already answered your criticisms of "inconsistency" in previous
> posts. That is not what this post is about. This post is about Marx's
> failure to explain the determination of m. I acknowledge that the lack of
> determination of m is a weakness of Marx's theory. But all theories have
> weaknesses (elements of indetermination, etc.). So the question of
> weakness inevitably becomes a question of RELATIVE or COMPARATIVE
> weaknesses. If the weaknesses of other theories are even greater than
> Marx's lack of determination of m, then this lack is not a reason to
> reject Marx's theory.


Why keep appropriating Marx for yourself Fred, even after my repeated request for
refraining from it. Don't you think it is too arrogant for you to keep doing so with
another scholar of Marx who does not consider himself to be any less knowledgeable
about Marx than yourself? I'm not answering your question, relative to what? because
of two reasons. One, since your theory does not determine anything as explained
above, so the question is simply irrelevant. Secondly, even if your question was
relevant, an internal critique does not have to compare the theory with anything

> Readers, please note that Ajit has not answered my argument that Marx's
> theory is superior to Sraffa's theory in the sense that Marx's theory
> explains the necessity of money and Sraffa's theory does not.


As far as i'm concerned, neither Sraffa nor Marx are issues in this debate. The
issue is a particular interpretation of Marx that you have put forth, which i claim
is logically incoherent. So what I have been concerned about is the logical
coherence of your theory presented as Marx's theory by you. In my opinion there is
no Marx versus Sraffa issue to begin with. The people who raise such issues are
either ignorant of both the authors or are simply using it as a devise to deflect
the criticisms of their theories or interpretations. Rest of your post simply
revisits the same points, so there is no point in going over it again and again.
Cheers, ajit sinha

p.s. I found Steve's comments on Sraffa to be very interesting.

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