[OPE-L:6332] Re: Re: Re: Re: recent science and society and Fred M's interpretation (fwd)

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU)
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 15:10:12 EST

Hello, Patrick.  You write in part, 

>What made Marx a Marxist?
>1. Marx thought his most important contribution to political economy was 
>his distinction between labor
>     and labor power.

>2. Marx is able integrate macroeconomics (FROP, reserve army of unemployed) 
>and microeconomics (prices of production) through his use of labor values.

>Can the labor/labor power distinction be made without Marx's law of value? 

Yes, clearly, since the distinction defined by Marx at the beginning of
Vol. I, Ch. 6 depends in no way on the definition of commodity labor values
or their relation to commodity prices.  The real question is whether the
"law of value" (whatever that means) is essential for demonstrating the
legitimate political economic significance of this distinction.  What basis
is there for answering this question in the affirmative?

>Is it possible to move between microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis in 
>a systemic fashion w/o law of value?

If the only analytical criterion sought is the ability to "move between
micro and macro analysis in a systemic fashion,"  the answer is clearly yes
on simple empirical grounds.  If the criterion, as suggested above, is the
ability to provide theoretical accounts of the FROP or the reserve army of
the unemployed, again yes, on the same grounds.  The real question is
whether the "law of value" has anything uniquely valid to offer to the task
of developing an integrated treatment of micro and macro phenomena.  If so,
what is it? 


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