[OPE-L:6848] Re: Diego Guerrero

From: Diego (diego.guerrero@cps.ucm.es)
Date: Sun Mar 31 2002 - 04:12:48 EST

Thanks, Jerry.

I'm first of all concerned with an issue which most of you have contributed
to: value. I would appreciate any comments coming from any of you indeed.

I propose to examine the convenience of using a new terminology in analysing
Marx's value categories (for the sake of clarity, I decided to put it the
way you can see below, which can seem more provocative than intended):

1) Price and value are the same thing [In fact, this is true just for
produced commodities only; for non-produced commodities (land, titles, rare
wines or paintings, etc.) we should say that they have relative prices (or
values) without having absolute prices (or values). Marx agreed with Ricardo
in limiting the scope of the LTV to "normal" commodities].

2) Absolute prices (or values) and relative prices (or values) are two
different things. The former are quantities of labor, the latter are ratios
of quantities of labor (in the general case, really spent labor; in the
special cases, just "commanded" labor), so that their unit of measure depend
on what is the thing to which we are comparing the value of commodity c. If
we are comparing it with commodity b, the unit is "units of b per unit of
c"; if comparing with gold money, the unit is "gold dollars per unit of c";
if comparing with present credit money, "dollars per unit of c"; etc.

3) Real prices and theoretical prices. The former are prices actually used
in social life (in real capitalistic exchanges, and in two different senses:
single one-to-one exchanges and statistical, average prices). The latter are
the categories we need for a complete theory of value: "individual" values
(or prices), direct values (or prices), production values (or prices), and
so on (for instance, monopoly prices, market-with-no-State prices, etc.).
The different theoretical prices of any commodity only differ in magnitude,
not in substance.

4) Practical people don't need theoretical prices: entrepreneurs are
interested only in real prices (past, present and future prices); consumers
can know prices just by asking the store's employees, etc. But people
interested in theoretical considerations do need theoretical prices. Thanks
to the latter we can understand:

    a) the workings of competition (for instance, how intra-sectoral
competition imposes one direct price, and how individual profit rates are
different for the different firms in a sector; or how inter-sectoral
competition makes production prices to be above or below direct prices
according to whether sectoral capital compositions are above or below the
average composition; or how a temporary excess demand can push the
theoretical "market price" above the level od the production price; etc.).

    b) the dynamics of the market economy, ie, the overall movement of the
acumulation of capital is reflected into the movement of prices because the
dynamics of the quantities of labor (its total and its fractions) is what
determines the dynamics of relative prices.

5) So that the "singleness" of the TSS system seems to me a rather timid

6) The "temporality" of the TSS seems to me a wrong attempt to capture the
necessary dynamical character of value. The latest paper by Alejandro
Ramos --a former ope-l suscriber--, which has been positively appraised by
Duncan Foley --another former subscriber-- but not so much by Paul
Cockshott --a current suscriber-- is a new example. I think the TSS
proponents tend to adopt an "individual firm" point of view. But in Marx and
in reality the social point of view has priority. We need to understand how
and why values are decreasing in time due to continuos labor productivity
improvements. But real time is composed by a succession of moments (t0, t1,
t2...), and in all and every one of them both production (labor) processes
and purchases-and-sales are taking simultaneously place. The use of systems
of simultaneous equations are useful for understanding the dynamics of
value, just as the use of photo cameras (not only movie cameras) are useful
for understanding the dynamics of other facts and events.


----- Original Message -----
From: "ope-l administrator" <ope-admin@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu>
To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 8:31 PM
Subject: [OPE-L:6830] Diego Guerrero

Diego Guerrero, our first member from Spain, has joined OPE-L. His email
address is <diego.guerrero@cps.ucm.es>

Diego introduces himself:


> I am making research in the areas I mention in the titles of the books
> below, and have a special interest in contributing to put together the
> efforts different groups are making separately, such as Sociedade de
> Economia Politica (Brasil), Association for Heterodox Economics,
> Coloquio Latinoamericano de Economia Politica, IWGVT, Conference of
> Socialist Economists, Jornadas de Economia Critica (spain), etc. We are
> preparing now the IX Jornadas de Economia Critica (Madrid, February
> 2004) and I would like to see there people coming from everywhere.
> Comradely yours,
> Diego
> Diego Guerrero, Titular Professor of Economics at the Complutense
> University of Madrid (Spain), is Ph. D in Economics and MA. in Law and
> Business Administration. He made research at the Centre de Recherche en
> Economie Industrielle (Paris) and New School University (New York). He
> belongs to the Committees of the Doctorate Program in his Department,
> of the Fundamentals Area (Jornadas de Economia Critica, Spain) and of
> the International Journal of Political Economy. Among his publications
> they are: (1997): Historia del pensamiento económico heterodoxo,
> Madrid: Trotta; (1995): Competitividad: Teoria y poiítica, Barcelona:
> Ariel; (1989): Acumulacion de capital, distribucion de le renta y
> crisis de rentabilidad en España (1954-1987), Madrid: UCM. He has
> edited as well (2002): Manual de Economia Politica, Madrid: Sintesis;
> (2002): Lecturas de Economia Politica, Madrid: Sintesis; (2000):
> Macroeconomia y crisis mundial, Madrid: Trotta; (2000, with J.
> Arriola): La nueva economia politica de la globalizacion, Bilbao: UPV;
> (1997/98): The Distribution of National Income: Theory and Practice of
> Marxist Analysis, New York: International Journal of Political Economy,
> in which he edited (in Spanish) works by other current and former
> suscribers of the list (Alejandro Valle, Reinaldo Carcanholo, Gerard
> Dumenil, Duncan Foley, Alan Freeman, Andrew Kliman, David Laibman,
> Dominique Levy, Paul Mattick, Jr., Maria de Lourdes Mollo, Claus Magno
> Germer, Paolo Giussani, Abelardo Marina, Michael Perelman, Alfredo
> Saad-Filho, Anwar Shaikh) and others.

Diego: welcome aboard!

In solidarity, Jerry

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