[OPE-L:5759] Re: Re: Re: the infinite quantity of logically plausible social theories theorem (IQLPSTT)

From: Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Date: Sun Jun 03 2001 - 08:00:41 EDT

Have I convinced non-Marxists? Yes--but in general they are quite content 
to continue developing their theories (mostly Post Keynesian) without 
attempting to base it on a Marxian philosophical foundation. In other 
words, like the majority of non-orthodox economists, they have long 
abandoned any explicit reliance on Marx because they don't want to be 
tainted with the brush of the labour theory of value. So they avoid Marx 
completely in their explicit work--though they may have found reading Marx 
useful in the same sense that they may have found reading Schumpeter 
useful. I can convince them that my reading of Marx makes sense; what I 
can't yet convince them of is that anything is to be gained by working from 
a dialectical philosophical foundation.

Have I convinced Marxists? No, and I don't expect to--no more than I expect 
to convince neoclassicals of my critique of neoclassicism.

As for the referees Jerry, your point is true in general (I've just reached 
that position in refereeing a paper for ROPE), but as it happens they *did* 
state explicit agreement with my interpretation.

At 09:03 PM 6/3/01 Sunday, you wrote:
>Re Steve K's [5753]:
> > But surely one hundred and thirty years of trying, without finding a 
> solution that someone else could not find a logical flaw in, is a sign 
> that maybe this problem *is* insoluble--and that maybe therefore there is 
> something wrong with the initial presumption that "labour is the only 
> source of value, and value the only source of profit"...<
>The opposite conclusion is possible as well: after
>130 years of trying to find a 'solution' to a _problem_
>that doesn't exist, we should recognize that there
>is no _problem_ here at all.
>Equally, one could turn the same point around on
>you by asking you (as I did previously):
>after many years of trying, have you convinced any
>scholar(s)  -- Marxist _or_ non-Marxist --
>of your [unconventional] interpretation
>of Marx such that anyone has supported _in print_
>that position on the use-value of machinery?
>Perhaps you should at least consider after all of
>these years whether your perspective on this issue
>is not correct after all? Note that the agreement by
>referees to support publication of an article/book
>does not imply agreement with the positions taken by the author.
>You argue that the TP is 'insoluable'. Yet, there have
>been many 'solutions' claimed, including (but not
>limited to) the Shaikh solution, the "New Solution",
>etc.  For your 'conclusion' to even be seriously
>considered to be worthy of discussion, you must
>*prove* that these solutions are not solutions after
>all.  Yet you have offered no such logical *proof* --
>rather you have offered *assertions*.  Thus, you have
>only proven a contrary theorem: the infinite quantity
>of possible objections to theoretical positions
>theorem (IQPOTTPT). This theorem states that for
>any theorem there are potentially an infinite quantity
>of possible objections.  It follows, I believe, that no
>theoretical perspective can progress if its
>advocates spend their energy just (or mainly)
>answering all possible objections. And, indeed,
>until such time as you have proven what you have
>asserted,  it would seem more reasonable from the
>perspective of efficient task management for
>Marxists to be concerned with other issues.
>There is an old political truism that says: 's/he
>who controls the agenda, controls the meeting'.
>I believe that Marxists have let the Marx-critics
>control the agenda which has then meant that
>what are important questions from the standpoint
>of a Marxist agenda have not been adequately
>considered. So, my answer is for Marxists to ask
>themselves what _they_ think is important and to
>go from there.
>In solidarity, Jerry

Home Page: http://www.debunking-economics.com
Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
Campbelltown, Building 11 Room 30,
School of Economics and Finance
s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
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