[OPE-L:4719] Re: Re: Re: Notes from a "class enemy"

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 12:25:54 EST

re 4174

>[I like that line about Cassinis and Roemers]  I didn't realize that we
>were in the business of drawing blood here, Rakesh.  If you'll read the
>post in which I made this comparison (OPE-L 4242), you'll find that I
>wasn't characterizing value theorists, but asking a question:  wouldn't it
>be a theoretical advance, in something like the same sense that moving from
>the Ptolemaic to the Copernican cosmology was an advance, if all of Marx's
>substantive claims about the nature and basis of capitalist exploitation
>could be established without the labor theory of value?  Gil

  If we are interested in the social equivalent of the laws of motion 
of the planets, Marx's substantive claims cannot be established if 
simultaneous equations are used instead of the labor theory of value 
to determine profits and prices.  You have then cast doubt on any 
theory built on a putatively  unobservable 'entity' such as Fred's 
macro entity of the mass of surplus value (ether?), compared to a 
theory which takes as its primary data technical conditions and the 
real wage. It is further implied the Bortkiewicz transformation 
calculation has the same destructive result for the postulation of 
value (as one of the two equalities supposedly has to go) as the 
Michelson-Morley experiment for inference of ether. Yet Gil I do not 
share the same skepticism towards unobservables in science, I don't 
think the mass of surplus value is all that unobservable, and I think 
the Bortkiewicz calculation procedure for equilibrium prices of 
production suffers from various misinterpretations of Marx's 
sequential, dynamic theory (Carchedi, Freeman, Giusanni).  Finally, 
I find your school to be altogether disinterested in the laws of 
motion, so the astronomical analogy seems ill suited to your war on 
the Marx's dynamic theory of value.


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