[OPE-L:3925] Re: Re: Marxists AND Sraffians Misinterpreting Sraffa

From: Andrew_Kliman (Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com)
Date: Sun Oct 01 2000 - 10:22:43 EDT

Reply to OPE-L 3917.

"Well, what do you think of the possibility that the rate of accumulation
can speed up even as the rate of profit falls?"


"This kind of dynamic is in the Bauer scheme which Grossmann extends.  If
I remember correctly, you thought this to be an *absurd* feature of the
extended scheme"

What I say was absurd was breakdown due to excess demand.  I *also*,
separately, said that the FRP has nothing to do with the breakdown -- the
scheme mechanically projects rates of growth of C & V without regard to
the rate of profit.

Rakesh: "(you have had only the most disparaging things to say about my

False.  Please retract.  You fail to distinguish between a person, a
book, and a scheme (due to someone else, that G. doesn't necessarily
endorse).   This is what's wrong with academic Marxism and the academic
left -- the refusal to distinguish between the demolition of an
argument and an attack on a person.  The academics act like a bunch
of merchants -- everyone has a right to hawk his wares.  So the
destruction of an argument is taken to be like coming to your stall and
smashing your watermelons.  That's why they have conferences at which
no one confers, discussants who do not discuss -- they're just there to
display their wares; and it isn't *nice* to steal away another vendor's
business or attack his/her product.  How many times have I been told
that conferences are not a place to discuss ideas??!!

So what do they do in response?  Take *personal* offense at a critique
that has no personal implications, and then launch a counterattack
against the PERSON who made the critique -- talk about how awful a person
s/he is, impugn his/her motives, and even lie about him/her and try to
destroy his/her reputation.

Thankfully, the law in the U.S. has somethat better standards about
such matters.

(The latest issue of the URPE Newsletter contains a personal attack
against a single person as its response to 19 different individuals'
criticisms of RRPE *policy*.  Supposedly that one person is an
Antichrist who managed to hoodwink 18 other very stupid, very
gullible, very ignorant, people into signing and even writing (!)
documents they did not understand.)

"but then what do you make of Capital 3 Penguin, p.375?!"

Never said coincidence of rising rate of accumulation (esp. physical
accumulation) and FRP was absurd.  I also note that the argument there is

"While no new value is created in exchange, this does not mean that the
value substance is not altered in and through ex-change."

Diversionary.  My original comment was this:  "In Marx's theory, value
cannot be altered in exchange, so total price in the market is
constrained to equal the total value already produced."  Obviously, this
deals with the *magnitude* of value.

I had written:
"Rakesh seems to deny that Marx's theory holds that the magnitude of
value cannot be altered in exchange.  I must say I'm surprised.  What is
Ch. 5 of Capital I about?  What is Ch. 9 of Capital III about?  What
about the numerous other instances in which Marx says just what I cited?"

Rakesh's reply:
: Of course what is Capital I, part one about if not the necessity of
: money or, to put it another way, money as the necessary form of
: appearance of value?

This is non-responsive and diversionary.  It also confuses exchange and
money.  In Marx's view, things have a money price BEFORE they come into
the market.

Rakesh continues:
: In my reading, the value substance is
: transformed in and through ex-change from potentiae to actuality.
: Marx speaks throughout here of metamorphoses and conversions in
: ex-change which should be recognized as a more dynamic process than
: treating it simply as the medium in which value is conserved would
: allow.  Marx's metaphors here are from life processes not physical
: ones, e.g., laws of conservation. The exchange process is a moment of
: metamorphosis or alteration not of value as quantity but of value as
: actuality.
: Value or valorisation is a monetary process through and through and
: thus has to be studied with money at the bookends (M-C-M'). Value
: simply is  not actualised outside this money form, so if we are
: interested in the transformation from value to price of production we
: must then begin with sums of money, not technical conditions, plus
: the real wage.
: I understand Alejandro to be following Fred on this point, and I
: wholeheartedly agree.

I think this is still off the point.  What does it have to do with
whether Marx's theory holds that the magnitude of value cannot be altered
in exchange?   Then Rakesh makes comments that disgress even further.
I'll skip them.  Then:

: doesn't Marx deduce the equilibrium condition for
: interdepartmental exchange  as necessary for not only for the
: realisation of the produced surplus value but also for the continuing
: reproduction of capital? How is the repro scheme analysis not
: structuralist as you have defined it?

The purpose is not to deduce any properties of or changes in the system
from the "requirement" of reproduction.

Finally, a point of apparent agreement about which comment is

Andrew Kliman

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