[OPE-L:4845] Is TSS a Copernicun revolution?

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed Feb 07 2001 - 13:36:53 EST

(I wrote the following and paused before deciding to send. I in no way
intend the following to be an assault on TSS or any individual on the list.
Rather, it is a challenge to discuss the issue -- a challenge that those
listmembers who have a TSS perspective should  [it is my hope] welcome).

Andrew K  (or was it the text of  the announcement written by someone else?)
wrote in [OPE-:4844] :


Copernicus, all should recall, advanced the revolutionary (for his time)
perspective that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
A breakthrough in scientific knowledge to be sure.

One might, by way of analogy, claim that Marx advanced a similarly
revolutionary perspective on social theory and action.

But there the analogy ends.

The TSS perspective is not, as Andrew and other TSS advocates have
repeatedly told us, a new social theory. Rather it is a (relatively new)
interpretation of Marx. If one wants to claim that TSS really does represent
a Copernicun revolution in Marxian value theory then one must demonstrate
that one has developed a revolutionary advance *beyond* what Marx wrote.
Yet, this has not been claimed.

> Value theory has frequently become an abstruse branch of "Marxian
> economics" that bears only a tenuous relation to the realities of
> capitalism.

Can't really argue with that.

Now I'm going to do a little "cutting and pasting" and *agree* with the
following  sentence *if* it were to end where  *I*
have ended it.

 >This situation arises, we suggest, because Marxian
> economists have become consumed by internal anomalies, the alleged
> "logical errors" of Marx's value theory that they have tried to
> resolve

Yet that same sentence might be equally applied to many TSSers -- who seem
at least as  "consumed" by alleged internal anomolies and supposed logical
errors of Marx's value perspective.  Indeed, all sides in the debates on the
transformation et. al. -- whether they "defend" Marx or not -- have been
obsessed with these issues  -- FOR OVER 100 YEARS!

The rest of the sentence is assertive and we could all think of many
examples where Marxists outside of TSS have not employed the "general
equilibrium paradigm of orthodox economics".

> within the general equilibrium paradigm of orthodox economics.

>  <snip, JL> The concept of value once again reflects
> real-world
> processes of capitalist production, exchange, technological
> change,
> growth, and crisis.  The new value theory offers an account of
> today's
> global economy that is coherent and arguably superior to
> orthodoxy.

I guess one could claim that there are certain "foundational principles" (my
expression, JL) of TSS that all writers from that perspective have in
common. Indeed, I am more than a little bit sympathetic to some of those
principles (especially as it relates to non-equilibrium theory).  Yet, the
TSS perspective has fundamentally remained an interpretation of Marx rather
than of "today's global economy".  Some from TSS  have advanced some
perspectives on today's global economy, to be sure. E.g. on the topic of
moral depreciation.  But, as we have seen on this list previously, there is
no unified perspective by TSSers on any contemporary issue concerning the
real world (in the case of the discussion on moral depreciation, we saw
several *different* perspectives advanced by TSSers including John E, Andrew
K, and Alan F).

If there has been a Copernican revolution in Marxian value theory that
allows us to account for today's global economy,
then what are the subjects concerning the global economy that all TSS
Copernicans can agree on?  This is not a sarcastic question -- I really want
to know.

In solidarity, Jerry

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