[OPE-L:4930] RE: Re: RE: Epicycles (was "causes of changes in prices of production")

From: Drewk (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Date: Sat Feb 17 2001 - 00:35:30 EST

In reply to Rakesh's OPE-L 4922.

He wrote:   "I didn't understand your reply. I know that I have
not convinced you, but am willing to leave it to others [to]
resolve.  ... I didn't understand your explanation of that

Let me try again.

Fred claims that, according to his interpretation of Marx, a
change in technology will always lead to a change in production
prices.  I want to *test* that claim.

Now what could I possibly mean by that?  How can you test what
someone believes?  If they say they believe it, they believe it.

Is that your problem?

If so, I can easily clear it up.  As I'm using the term
"interpretation," it refers Fred's OVERALL interpretation of
Marx's value theory, not his SPECIFIC claim that Marx held that a
change in technology will always lead to a change in production
prices.    I do not challenge the fact that Fred believes the
specific claim.  What I am challenging is the notion that the
specific claim is compatible with Fred's OVERALL interpretation.

What I'm thus trying to test is whether the overall interpretation
must always yield numerical results consistent with the specific
claim.  In other words, does the overall interpretation always
yield numerical results such that a change in technology will
always lead to a change in production prices?  If you don't like
my test, please tell me how you would test whether the specific
claim is compatible with the overall interpretation.

At the most fundamental level, the incompatibility stems from the
contradiction between Fred holding that the cost price is "given,"
and his taking that back (with respect to UNIT prices) when he
claims that the "given" cost price is revalued at post-production
replacement costs.  In a formal sense, there is no incompatibility
here, because what Fred means by "given" is ONLY the sectoral
monetary AGGREGATES, not the unit prices.  But he forgets this and
reasons *as if* his unit prices were given, rather than revalued
retroactively.  When he does so, he contradicts himself.   You can
have given input prices or you can have input prices
simultaneously determined with output prices.  You cannot have

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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