[OPE-L:4555] Re: RE: Re: Imperialism

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 13:18:35 EST

re 4554

>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.

So Julian are you all arguing that profit rate equalisation is not a 
real tendency which can be studied in the abstract? But capital is 
mobile and labor power can be rapidly moved; this gives a real 
foundation for the equalisation of profit rates. However, Marx 
himself however refers to an equalisation of ever renewed 
inequalities; he allows for certain capitals to drop out of the 
competition process altogether.  Why does Marx's analysis of the 
equalisation tendency in itself seem then to lead you all to think 
that Marx thought it ever operated in pure form?

And this analysis does lead to one of Marx's more spectacular 
results, dismissed here by Steven K as a kletch or klutch or klatch: 
"We thus have a mathematically  exact demoonstration of why the 
capitalists, no matter how little love is lost among them in their 
mutual competition, are nevertheless united  by a real freemasony 
vis-a-vis the working class as a whole." Capital 3, p. 300

Moreover, note in the iteration which I propose one need not 
distribute the mass of surplus value, as derived in step 3, by the 
rule of a uniform profit rate. So this "degenerate" distribution is 
not built into Marx's procedure. After the uniform profit is 
determined, one could allow for the profit rate to be distributed in 
each iteration as

I r + a + b
II r-a
III r-b

a and b could be randomly generated in each iteration within some 
range. But that the uniform profit rate would have to be initially 
determined (r) speaks to the methodological importance of Marx's 

Yours, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Nov 30 2000 - 00:00:05 EST