[OPE-L:7556] Re: RE: To Rakesh, RE: Fred's remarks on Marx, Sraffa & Rents

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Date: Tue Aug 27 2002 - 16:11:48 EDT

Gary, you write, among other things,

>What insights are these, that cannot be derivable from Sraffa's model? That
>workers are exploited? Nope: I've got two eyes, and I read the papers
>(Walmart, anyone?); I know workers are exploited and I don't need Marx's 
>value analysis to see that.  Sure, you can define exploitation as Marx did,
>from which it follows that you can't measure it without his value categories;
>but definitions are ultimately arbitrary, and there are other ways to define

I'm curious as to how you'd propose defining exploitation without reference 
to embodied labor time; is it anything like Roemer's proposed 
generalization of Marx's notion, e.g.?


>Anyway, in the end, using such a value-loaded word as
>"exploitation" to describe a social process cannot help but be ideological. I
>don't doubt that there are contexts in which some interesting empirical
>regularities can be exposed by looking at economic processes through the lens
>of Marx's vlaue categories.  But I don't see that these categories are
>necessary to provide an understanding of the most fundamental 
>relating to the determination of distribution, choice of technique, pace of
>accumulation, etc. For these sorts of issues, Sraffa's framework is superior,
>for all the reasons Steedman mentions.
>All the best,

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