[OPE-L:5758] RE: why are we on this list? => Ricardo & Marx: accuracy of Subject field.

From: Michael Williams (michael@williamsmj.worldonline.co.uk)
Date: Sun Jun 03 2001 - 06:31:31 EDT


It would help busy but interested quasi-lurkers like myself if we could
up-date the subject line as a new threads are thrown off by old. This
interesting debate between Gary and Rakesh is emerging from the much more
general (and less interesting ...?) discussion about who 'should' be on
OPE-L. It would be good if the subject line flagged this branching.


comradely greetings,


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> [mailto:owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu]On Behalf Of mongiovg
> Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2001 11:54 PM
> To: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari
> Cc: ope-l
> Subject: [OPE-L:5751] RE: Re: why are we on this list?
> A brief reply to Rakesh.
> >Last quarter I took a week to read the Principles and then Terry
> >Peach's Interpreting Ricardo of which I found a well priced copy in
> >an used bookstore (my annotated copies are in boxes right now). I am
> >sure I will have to read it many more times.
> >There is no doubt that important quantitative aspects of Marx's
> >theory of value  are based firmly on Ricardo's theory. There is also
> >no doubt that Marx's dilineation of two reasons why prices of
> >production change--change in the value of the commodities themselves
> >and change in the average rate of profit--comes straight from
> >Ricardo. In my previous response to you, I noted that changes in
> >value from the first reason was understood by Ricardo himself to
> >happen on a daily basis, which to me makes long run thinking somewhat
> >inimical to Ricardo's vision of capitalist dynamics. It is also
> >obvious that what was most important to Marx--the chapter on the
> >distinction between value and riches--has almost no real conceptual
> >relation to the rest of the Principles.
> I don't think Peach is the best source on Ricardo, particularly
> if one wants
> to understand the connection between Ricardo & Marx.  Peach
> depicts Ricardo as
> a thoroughly muddled thinker, and indeed favors Malthus's analytics over
> Ricardo's.   Marx would have none of that.  Peach moreover denies
> that R was a
> surplus theorist in the tradition of Sraffa, which again goes against the
> grain of Marx's reading of Ricardo.
> Acknowledging, as Ricardo and Marx do, that the world is not
> static doesn't
> mean you must abandon the long-period method.  At any rate,
> neither Ricardo
> nor Marx felt that they needed to ditch the traditional method
> when analyzing
> the forces that regulate price and the profit rate. The working
> presumption, I> >
> >
> >
> >Too vague. What fish do you think he was after? An invariable
> >standard to allow for the study of distribution? Do you think Marx's
> >main concern was distribution? Not even the analytical Marxists would
> >make this claim
> I think he was trying to explain the tendential laws of motion of
> capitalism,
> not the day-to-day fluctuations of market prices.  The latter are what
> technicians (the economist as plumber) fuss over.  Marx was a
> big-picture man.
> >
> >
> >>
> >
> >
> >>  Marx himself was
> >>a product of bourgeois values--one of which is a rational
> skepticism about
> >>intellectual authority.  The very notion that there is something called
> >>"science" which is distinct from "ideology" (even if the former
> is always to
> >>some degree tainted by the latter) is itself a bourgeois idea
> -- and one
> that
> >>Marx would not find uncongenial: he did after all distinguish between
> >>classical political economy, which he regarded as scientific
> (albeit flawed)
> >>and vulgar economy, which he considered to be an ideology
> masquerading as
> >>science.
> >
> >Yes but Marx also thought that scientific political economy had ended
> >with Richard Jones.. As for Sraffa's relation to Ricardo, I cannot
> >say. I haven't studied Sraffa, but I do await a Sraffian reply to
> >Blaug's recent critique.
> >
> There's one coming out, by Kurz & Salvadori.  I think Ajit is
> more or less on
> target.  Blaug's piece really gets Sraffa wrong.  The mistake is
> not different
> from the one Rakesh, Freeman and others make.  The fact that
> Sraffa focused on
> a particular set of problems does not mean that he denies the
> importance of
> all the other problems that Marx and the classicals took up.
> And wasn't Jones a post-Ricardian?
> best regards,
> Gary

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