[OPE-L:5588] Re: explanatory power

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed May 16 2001 - 08:05:53 EDT

Re Geert's [5583]:

> For (3) ['setting out the systemic
> interconnections', JL], even if we restrict to the
> "economic" domain (Jerry went beyond
> that in the remainder of his post) VFT does
> better to the extent that it
> consistently takes account of the double
> character of capitalist society
> (physical entities and monetary entities and their > interrelation).
> First,  in "value theory pure"; second in the
> theorisation of the credit system and
> monetary institutions; third in the theory of
> economic development
> (theories of cyclical development).

Let's examine Geert's claim as to whether VFT
has greater explanatory power to the extent that it
better sets out the systemic interconnections of
capitalist society in relation to the *credit system and monetary
institutions* and theories of
*cyclical development*.

One of the problems in accessing such a claim
re greater explanatory power has to do with
the specification of *which* theory VFT is
being compared to. Geert has contrasted
VFT to LET (labor embodied theory). Yet,
within the umbrella of what Geert has called
LET there are very significant differences in
interpretation -- indeed, there are very different
"LET" traditions and 'schools of thought'.  For
instance,  consider only 3 (for the sake of
simplification): Fred's 'given' perspective,
the Cottrell/Cockshott perspective, and Makoto
Itoh's Uno-School perspective. All three have
significant differences in interpretation with VFT,
YET they ALSO have significant differences
in interpretation amongst themselves AND some
variants have significant areas of agreement with
VFT (e.g. Fred's perspectives on the starting
point of the theory and the essential connection
between value and money have more in common
with VFT than with most other LET

Thus, I think it is fair to ask you whether the
claims that you make above re greater
explanatory power of VFT apply in relation
to *other*  LET perspectives.

This gives rise to a specific question: how does
the [R/W] VFT perspective offer greater insight
into the systemic interconnections of capitalist
society re the credit system, monetary
institutions, and business cycles than that
put forward by Makoto Itoh? (references below.)

In solidarity, Jerry

For references on Makoto's perspective on
these subjects, see:

--  Makoto Itoh and Costas Lapavitsas _Political
          Economy of Money and Finance_, NY,
           St. Martin's Press, 1999.
     [being the most recent and specific to the
     issues that you claim that your theory has
     greater explanatory power in reference to,
     this would be the best work to contrast
     your explanation to, imo.]

-- Makoto Itoh _The Basic Theory of Capitalism:
     the Forms and Substance of the Capitalist
     Economy_, Totowa, NJ, Barnes & Noble
     Books, 1988.
     [the most detailed and thorough presentation
     of Makoto's perspective on the systemic
     interconnections of capitalist society, including
     critiques of other perspectives and an
     integration of the subjects of credit, monetary
     institutions, and business cycles.]

--  Makoto Itoh _The World Economic Crisis and
          Japanese Capitalism_, NY, St. Martin's
          Press, 1990.
     [Application of his perspective to contemporary
      issues of relevance to credit, monetary
      institutions, and business cycles.  Perhaps
      somewhat dated by the 1999 book co-
      written with Costas.]

--  Makoto Itoh _Value and Crisis: Essays on
          Marxian Economics in Japan_, NY,
          Monthly Review Press, 1980.
     [An introduction to his perspective. Explained
       in greater depth in "Basic Theory" book.]

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