[OPE-L:4966] Re: Re: causes of changes in prices of production

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Mon Feb 19 2001 - 14:31:27 EST

Re [OPE-L:4964-5]:

(from 4865)

>   Why discuss
>  something if the implications of the different possible
> outcomes  aren't clear and agreed-upon in advance?
> What good would  discussion do?

The debate about what can cause a change in prices of production in Marx's
theory is not primarily a debate about "implications". It is a debate about
what Marx's perspective on this topic was.

*If* there are two different interpretations which can both  bring forth
clear but contradictory evidence  (e.g. Marx said one thing very clearly in
one place but said something else and very different in another section or
source),  *then* putting the two different perspectives in a wider context
by discussing the "implications" might be in order.

In *this* case though we have a clear and unambivalent and unrefuted
statement by Marx about what can cause a change in prices of production.
Thus, *in this case*, either one side acknowledges the content of Marx's
clear statement as an expression of Marx's perspective *or* (and this is
_entirely_ legitimate) one brings forth evidence from other sections of Marx
which seem to contradict the prior evidence. If one were successful in then
showing that Marx had two very different and contradictory positions on this
issue, then one would have demonstrated that Marx's theory on this issue is
self-contradictory and logically flawed. Yet, this is not a conclusion that
the TSSI can come to without abandoning one of its key assertions (they
might say "results") about  how Marx's theory is not self-contradictory nor
logically flawed.

So -- with all respect to Paul Z -- unless an alternative reading which
shows that  Marx's very clear and unambivalent statement is, after all,
unclear and ambiguous -- then we MUST conclude that *either* AK's
perspective on what can cause a change in prices of production in Marx's
theory is erroneous *or* Marx's theory itself is erroneous.  In the presence
of such a "smoking gun" quotation, no other options exist.

What is perhaps *most* interesting about this situation is *how rarely*
there is a definitive quotation (a "smoking gun") from Marx that settles a
textual debate. And, let us not forget, this is and must be first and
foremost a textual debate since it is a debate not about the validity of
different concepts of prices of production but is rather exclusively about
different interpretations of Marx's theory.

In solidarity, Jerry

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