[OPE-L:5774] cause(s) and consequence(s) of the Marxist 'obsession'

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 07:28:43 EDT

Re Andy's [5772]:

> What can you mean by 'evidence' here? I take it  that the fact is  that
these issues are discussed at  length. This is surely a kind of  'evidence'
for my  suggestion? <

Well, no not really (see below.)

> Indeed, viewing this 'evidence' any
> other way is likely to be be a rather less
> sympathetic   interpretation, for it would cast
> doubt on the scientific justification of
> these long debates.

The debates on the TP etc. were fundamentally
attempts to answer critiques of Marx ... and to
demonstrate that Marx got it 'right' (or 'basically
right'.)  Indeed, we have heard this justification over and over again on
OPE-L.  We have also
heard (repeated endlessly) the assertion that once
the TP has been 'solved' and/or once there is a
recognition that there is no 'problem' then it will
allow Marx's political economy and Marxists in
the academy to be treated with more respect
(or, at least, - it is claimed - will expose the Marx-
critiques as ideology.) and for Marxism to move
forward to the discussion of those concrete
subjects that everyone claims should be studied
but few have (because of this *OBSESSION*
with the TP, the Okishio Theorem, etc..)
It might be, as you say, that different
answers to the TP yield different perspectives on
value which then has 'massive' implications for
concrete work, but this has manifestly not been
the manner in which authors have justified their
interventions at the time. Thus, my point, was
that _even if_ this has been a _consequence_ of
some of those debates, it has manifestly not
been its _cause_.

>Further 'evidence' of a different sort is that
different theories of value yield very different
concrete results. This  is why I mentioned Ben
Fine's many, many concrete studies,
 based explicitly on a take on the LTV (though
rather ignored on OPEL). <

Well ... that might change if we could convince
Ben to join OPE-L but so far he has resisted
because of time constraints.

>For this is clear 'evidence' that a take on the
> debates has  'massive' implications for more
> concrete work.

That was not your original claim, though, that
I had responded to. In [5750] you wrote that
"THE REASON that abstract issues (eg TP)
are discussed .... (emphasis added, JL).  My
point is that one can not conclude that because
the debates  *might have* massive implications
for more concrete work (i.e. this might be
a *consequence* of the debates) that this was
the *reason* for those debates.

Hey, I've got an idea: why don't we discuss some
of Fine's concrete work that relies upon his
conception of value?  What do you think his
most important contributions to more concrete
subjects has been?

In solidarity, Jerry

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