Re John Bellamy Foster's message which appeared as : > But you contend that the actual practice of such > theorists has involved adopting the redundancy argument, the Ricardian > surplus concept and giving up on value-theoretic analysis--and that this > has been carried forward in works on Marxist ecology, such as my book > MARX'S ECOLOGY. <snip, JL> > As far as redundancy is concerned I understand how this relates to > Sraffa-Steedman, but the application of this to Sweezy seems to me > misplaced, particularly as he strongly opposed the neo-Ricardian model and > the redundancy argument. Paul's argument was that neo-Ricardians > invariably lost sight of the central concept of Marx's economics, the > rate of surplus value. In the debates on economic crisis theory in the > 1970s, '80s and '90s, in which I played a part, this was shown again > and again. It was always understood within the MR tradition that the > root of the problem was the abandonment of the labor theory of value > in the analysis of capitalism, and the confusion that this caused. With all > their claims of redundancy the neo-Ricardians ended up jettisoning a > critical perspective. Thanks for your clarification. But, I think you misunderstood my previous questions in . I didn't claim there that Paul Sweezy and writers in the MR tradition had "adopted" the Steedman redundancy position. What I wrote instead is that, especially with reference to _Monopoly Capital_, a redundancy *question* can be raised. Steedman did not raise his redundancy *argument* in these terms: he claimed, rather, that surplus approach theory was preferable to a value theory perspective because there was nothing in the latter that couldn't be developed simpler and better (i.e. free of supposed contradictions) than the latter. My *question* re _Monopoly Capital_ is the following: since the argument there was presented without value theory and categories, is value theory essential or redundant from the perspective of the authors? That *question* could then be extended to others working in that tradition since -- in broad terms -- they have identified with the basic approach towards analyzing contemporary capitalism -- monopoly capital -- as Baran-Sweezy. You write about "what was always understood in the MR tradition" (which was very informative, btw) but that doesn't lead to a dismissal of the underlying question since it is _Monopoly Capital_ itself which is being interrogated rather than the intentions of the authors or others writing in that tradition. The mere _fact_ that _Monopoly Capital_ was written as it was leads necessarily to certain questions. *Another* question could be raised for the critics of this tradition: if one can develop an analysis of the contemporary period without explicit utilization of value theory, then _why_ is value theory required for that purpose? Note that by raising the questions, I am not taking a stance on whether or how I think they can be answered. These questions could be directed not only towards the MR tradition, but towards some other Marxian traditions such as the Social Structure of Accumulation school (hi Terry). The SSA school develops a coherent and logical and empirically informed perspective that does not employ value theory. If that is the case, then (again) is value theory redundant and unnecessary (and, therefore inferior, according to Occum's Razor?) _or_ in what senses is value theory required? More concretely, what -- if anything -- is _lost_ in the SSA approach? [NB: there is no reference to Marx above. Since neither the MR tradition or the SSA school or the surplus approach perspective claim "fidelity" to Marx -- and since Marx's perspective can not be *assumed* to be superior, then we should be able to answer the above questions without digressions into Marx hermeneutics since all that later could do possibly is inform us what Marx's perspective was rather than what is at issue -- whether one theory is preferable or superior to others.] In solidarity, Jerry PS re Paul B's [7378-9]: Thanks for your responses. Contrary to your expectations, I am indeed pleased that you were able to write those posts. I would like us to at some point pursue the issues that you identified in  but I'm not sure how many others on the list are also interested and, in any event, I will soon be at sea so I guess it is not best for me to try to pursue some of those issues now.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jul 02 2002 - 00:00:04 EDT