In OPE-L 4846, Rieu, following up on Jerry's point, wrote: What analytical difference TSS interpretation can bring in examining more concrete issues on capitalist economy, more concrete level than moral depreciation or TRPF?" This is a big issue. There are a whole lot of ways in which Marx's value theory, as understood by its TSSI, gives different explanations of various phenomena (and addresses different issues) than physicalism does. I'll give just one example below. But first I need to object to the implication that Marx's law of the tendential fall in the profit rate and moral depreciation are not concrete. The LTFPR does not predict a secularly declining rate; it predicts CRISES, as prices fall in relation to the book values of assets and existing capital is annihilated (see Ch. 15 of Capital III). Having just lived through a huge crisis in Korea, Rieu, wouldn't you say that it was pretty concrete? Physicalism and underconsumptionism do of course lead to their own explanations of crisis. My point is that Marx's theory (as understood by its TSSI) leads to a different one. Physicalism implies that productivity gains can solve all of the system's problems (The New Economy!). Underconsumptionism implies that a "living wage," or perhaps the euthanasia of the rentier, can solve all of the system's problems. In contrast, Marx's theory implies that capital itself, value production itself, must be abolished in order to do away with crises. OK, now on to another concrete difference. I'm taking this example from "REJOINDER TO DUNCAN FOLEY AND DAVID LAIBMAN," by Andrew Kliman and Alan Freeman, in Paul Zarembka's _Research in Political Economy_, Vol. 18, 2000: "Laibman’s chief gripe against the law of value is that it supposedly implies that, because capital does not benefit from rising productivity –– a worker produces no more value just because she produces more use-values –– capitalists lack an incentive to drive their workers ever harder. 'It might even be fun to be a proletarian' in an economy dominated by the law of value. What Laibman has forgotten, however, is that the law of value implies that individual units of capital suffer from below-average productivity and intensity. Even though they face higher production costs, they cannot sell their products for more than other producers do. The falling tendency of the rate of profit and crises only exacerbate the problem. *These* are the incentives to drive workers ever harder, as well as to innovate. "The economy in which it would be fun to be a proletarian is instead the physicalist one. Viable technological advance would provide ever more goodies for workers and capitalists alike to share. With real wages rising in line with productivity, the economy would go on indefinitely in its merry, crisis-free way. Backward producers would not suffer from technological changes, nor make their workers suffer, because they are producing just as much corn as before, and of course the corn 'price' of corn can never fall." Andrew Andrew ("Drewk") Kliman Dept. of Social Sciences Pace University Pleasantville, NY 10570 USA phone: (914) 773-3968 fax: (914) 773-3951 Home: 60 W. 76th St. #4E New York, NY 10023 USA "The practice of philosophy is itself theoretical. It is the critique that measures the individual existence by the essence, the particular reality by the Idea."
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