[OPE-L:5062] On "Proof" [continuing this dialogue]

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu)
Date: Sat Feb 24 2001 - 11:01:46 EST

Re: [OPE-L:5060] Reply to Andrew on "Proof"

"Drewk" <Andrew_Kliman@msn.com> said, on 02/24/01:

>The main problem is that Marx doesn't say
>his intention is to prove that Ic is not limited by the extent of the
>market for consumer goods.

>It is rather that the schemes themselves prove this, IMO.  The proof is
>accomplished by Marx's division of the social product into means of
>production and articles of consumption; by his decomposition of the
>different parts of the product in terms of their components; and by his
>tracing the destinations of the various components.  The tracing of the
>destinations of the various parts of the total social product reveals
>that neither workers, nor capitalists as individuals, buy Ic for purposes
>of personal consumption.

No dispute here by anyone insofar as division of social product,
decomposition, and the tracing of destinations are concerned.  Actually,
Andrew is just providing definitions in words for the symbols.

>Nor do the capitalists who produce consumer
>goods buy Ic as means of production.  As far as Ic is concerned,
>Department I buys from itself and sells to itself.  The extent of its
>demand for its own stuff is thus what sets the limit to how much of its
>own stuff it supplies to itself.

Not sure if there is dispute here.  "Extent of its demand for its own
stuff" is not addressed, just stated.  

>The most relevant passages in Vol. II are the discussion of the constant
>capital in Dept. I in Ch. 20 and the additional constant capital in Ch.
>21.  But it is the construction as a whole that I think constitutes the

>But is it really a proof?  I think so.  By proof here, I mean deductive
>proof.  I do not see that anything more needs to be said, nor do I see a
>possible way of challenging Marx's deduction that demand for Ic comes
>from Dept. I itself, not consumers.

How does this statement of Andrew's form part of a "proof" or show
"proof"?  I think "more needs to be said".  Specifically, the issue of
"demand for Ic comes from Dept. I itself, not consumers" is hanging, as
there is no statement of what constitutes this "demand".  Does it comes
from Heaven?  from building another railroad track next to the little used
railroad track right next to it?  what?

>But is it really Marx's proof?  I'd prefer to say no, because I think
>that conveys a sense that it was his intention to prove this.  Is it the
>proof of those who recognized the implications of the schema?  Again, I'd
>prefer to say no -- this is not quite the same as the phlogiston case
>that Engels and Althusser discuss. I'd prefer to say that the proof was
>"recognized" rather than "discovered" by later commentators.  And so I'd
>prefer to say that "Marx's work" or "Marx's reproduction schema" or "the
>reproduction schema" or "Vol. II" prove the point.

I am not concerned if Marx did not see his own "proof" and was only
"recognized" later, but rather how one can assert that a "proof" is
contained therein.  How has THAT question been answered, for example by
Andrew, for the example of extended reproduction being discussed?

Paul Z.

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