[OPE-L:5219] Response to Andy Brown: Marx's and Marxian Paradigms

From: Nicola Taylor (nmtaylor2001@yahoo.co.uk)
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 21:27:02 EST

Hi Andy, and thanks for taking an interest.
Unfortunately this is a bad time for me to get
embroiled in complex debates (and the issues you raise
are very complex). I have *huge* teaching comitments
this semester (8 classes a week) and am already behind
on my Phd. 

The best I can do at the moment is attach a copy of my
thesis (last years) which deals precisely with the
challenges you set out below. Btw, you will find your
name in the "Acknowledgements", as will many other
list members - testament (I think) to the ongoing
usefulness of this list, both as a resource and
debating forum. 

I welcome critical comments on my work, either onlist,
or off. As well as any constructive suggestions re
improvements (or oversights). It should be safe to
open the attachment, as I have recently sent it to
others without complaints.


> On 16 Mar 2001, at 2:31, Nicola Taylor wrote:
> > However, I also consider that crucial differences
> > among Marxists stem from irreconcilable
> ambiguities in
> > Marx's own texts that render any definitive
> reading of
> > Marx's theory of value, near impossible.  Andy B's
> > take on socially necessary labour, imo, stems from
> a
> > paradigmatic split between those who hold to an
> > abstract-labour embodied interpretation of Marxian
> > value theory, and those who do not.  Or, from a
> > different angle, the split might be seen to be
> between
> > those who read into Marx an ontological role for
> > *money* (eg credit) as a crucial determinant of
> > economic activity in a value-form determined
> system
> > (capitalism), and those who do not.  There seems
> to be
> > no way around this problem except to make one's
> own
> > reading of Marx explicit.
> You paint a very post-modern picture here! If it
> were true and if 
> Marx is the best presentation of the CMP around then
> I think we 
> may as well unsubscribe and forget any attempt at
> scientific 
> debate.
> Value-form and systematic dialectic interpretations
> of Marx find 
> some support in Marx but *also* clearly disagree
> with Marx on 
> important points (eg on when and if ab SNL should be
> introduced)
> More 'traditional' embodied labour theories find
> support from Marx 
> and *also* clearly depart from many of Marx's
> statements in 
> Capital...witness the transformation problem.
> *Neither* therefore accords / agrees with
> universally recognised 
> aspects of Marx's own view. This is not unambigous.
> It is clear.
> *If* there were no other view then we would indeed
> have to live with 
> this unhappy situation and, perhaps, take R&Ws line
> on Marx's 
> 'Ricardian hangover'. But there *are* other views.
> I would claim to support an interpretation which
> does not suffer 
> from the major shortcomings that must be
> acknowledged in the two 
> views mentioned above. I would suggest that the work
> of Ben Fine 
> and colleagues on the transformation problem and the
> (distinguiishin OCC VCC and TCC) is basically
> correct and fits 
> Marx better than other views. Sure this needs
> debating - but let us 
> not undermine the foundations for such debate before
> we begin!
> Note that, on my interpretation, this work holds
> that money is 
> important *and* affirms that value is congealed
> abstract labour. So 
> your dichotomy is a false one.
> Best wishes,
> Andy 

Nicola Taylor
Division of Economics
Murdoch University
Telephone: 61-8-9385 1130

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