[OPE-L:4023] Re: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TheTransformationProblem

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 02:31:47 EDT

>Dear Rakesh:
>(1) Re: "your critique of the LTV, as it stands, is predicated on your
>prima facie preposterous claim that Marx should have understood the use of
>dead labor can equally be the source of new value as surplus labor"
>My critique of the LTV is predicated on the proposition that Marx's
>dialectics contradicts the LTV. You may believe the claim preposterous--the
>referees for the History of Political Economy and the Journal of the
>History of Economic Thought did not. You can check the 1993 issues of the
>latter publication if you so desire.

Steve, why invoke the authority of the editors of journals of 
bourgeois economics to me?  We both know that I do not think the bar 
is very high to criticize Marx among professional economists.

On the other hand, the bar is higher to criticize, say, general 
equilibrium theory, the neoclassical synthesis, interdependence or 
realist schools in political science from a marxist perspective, the 
misuse of game theory or rational choice theory,  various forms of 
genetic reductionism presently purveyed in the popular press, the 
pesticide treadmill, the ideology of the free press, the foundational 
importance of the eugenic vision in the development of the supposedly 
neutral tools of statistical analysis or population genetics, the 
great importance of  slavery in the early stages of capital 
accumulation, the persistence of gender and racial discrimination in 
the labor market, the overuse of computers by children in the 
schools, lax regulation of lead exposure.

>(2) One justified aspect of the TSS attempt to rebut Sraffian critiques is
>that they apply a static yardstick to a dynamic theory. However, it is
>possible to grant that proposition and still undertake a dynamic version of
>that critique. This would involve setting up a system in which all rates of
>change were constant as a "dynamic equilibrium" and then seeing whether the
>TSS characterisation was still sustainable when organic compositions of
>capital differed between industries. I expect that TSS would fail this test.

Yes but you said that your other work is about disequilbrium 
dynamics, no? So why allow that in every facet of economics but the 
resolution of the transformation problem? This is what has me 
confused. You said I had created a false intellectual opposition, 
though it seems to me that the contradiction is in your own 
pronouncements. That said, I certainly don't think that the absence 
of a transformation problem means the Marxian labor theory of value 
is above criticism on a variety of other grounds.

>  I regard your comments on
>this issue as gratuitous and completely irrelevant to my own way of
>thinking. If you wish to characterise me somewhat more accurately, then I
>suggest you read what I have actually published.

I wasn't wishing to characterize you. Just noted that there is a very 
interesting case of someone who tried to maintain both equilibrium 
thinking and dynamics at the same time. Some have said that 
equilibrium for schumpeter is nothing more than a counterfactual 
demonstration of just how different a social system would be if there 
were no innovation; others have said equilibrium represents a real 
force which either entrepreneurs must break through to get their 
superprofits or which keeps the economy together despite on going 
technological innovation; yet others have said it is simply an 
unresolved contradiction and Schumpeter can only break equilibrium by 
the deus ex machina of credit or the postulation of the special 
energies of the entrepreneur.  I wish it had been the first but it is 
surely some mixture of the last two kinds of things (equilibrium as 
real force and unresolved contradiction), no?
So if I was characterizing you, the point was that you seem to be 
exhibiting the same kinds of contradictions as the greatest of 
bourgeois economists. Maybe it's an insult, mabye not.

Yours, Rakesh

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