[OPE-L:5032] v = 0

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 07:03:02 EST

Andrew I wrote in [OPE-L:5030]:

> I'm sorry I'm not terribly sympathetic to your "getting tired"
> problem.  You didn't seem sympathetic when I was tired of your
> haranguing me about v = 0 for months and months on end.
> Your correction was not one I found to be particularly gracious.
> (I thought you might me interested in this last comment given your
> concern with tone.)

The issue of the v = 0 assumption was re-raised by Paul B.  You, then,
brought me back into the debate with your "haranguing comment".  In my
response, I told you that if you let it drop, I wouldn't respond.  Indeed, I
didn't respond  even when you defended the belief that I was "haranguing"
and even though I disagreed strongly with your response to Paul.  Now, since
you have re-raised the issue again, I will respond by saying something *new*
on this thread.

You argue that the v. = of assumption goes back to Marx. I say:  the source
of the v. = 0 assumption is on page 22 of:

 *** Pierro Sraffa's _Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities_***.
See "Fig 1" and the surrounding text.

Moreover, the contemporary *context* for using the v = 0 assumption dates
back to efforts by Marxists to respond, favorably or unfavorably, to Sraffa
and Steedman.

Thus, those who were at work developing a critique of the Sraffian theory
including a critique of Steedman  *chose* to employ the assumptions that
they  (the Sraffians) used. One might  ask whether, by so doing, these
critics substituted the Sraffian *methodology*  as embodied in his
mathematical formalizations for that of Marx.

In conversation with a leading spokesperson for the TSSI a number of years
ago, the above source for  the v = 0 assumption was brought to my attention.
It was defended on totally *pragmatic* grounds: i.e. that the Sraffians
wouldn't accept a "methodological" critique of their assumptions.

I think that "methodological critiques" are often much more forceful that
mathematical formalizations (Robinson's critique of H-O-S comes to mind).

The above is the *source* -- from a history of political economy
standpoint -- for the v = 0 assumption.  The counter-claim that it
originated in Marx is as credible, imo, as the claim that in the year 2001
there is a "new theory of value" developed by Marx.

In solidarity, Jerry

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