[OPE-L:4554] RE: Re: Imperialism

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 12:29:48 EST

Rakesh writes [#4549], apropos of Paul C

 for decades now critics like 
you have been accusing Marx of having suffered from a fatal logical 

No doubt Paul will reply in his own behalf, but as I understand it Rakesh's
comment is at 180 degrees to Paul's position and since this is similar to my
own in at least some respects I'd like to reply too.

Both he and I (and Allinn -- and Alejandro too, I think) are impressed by
the probabilistic approach set out in Farjoun and Machover's "Laws of
Chaos". F&M's critique of Marx is that he made not a logical, but a
*methodo*logical error -- namely, that there is anything useful to be gained
from attempting to consider what would have to be true for the rate of
profit to be equalised, or likewise what would be true just in case this
supposed equalisation were to occur.

F&M show that once one drops this shibboleth and considers instead
non-degenerate distributions of the profit rate all the difficulties
sheltering under the umbrella of the "transformation problem" drop away --
in short it is a non-problem, to quote from the title of one of Andrew K's

In short, F&M complain that Marx un-necessarily laid the groundwork for all
the criticisms of the "Marxist economists". In this, I think, F&M are in
error, but that does not undercut the value of their positive work.


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