[OPE-L:7923] Re: unequal exchange

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Wed Nov 06 2002 - 08:32:09 EST

Re Paul C's [7914], Alejandro's [7917] and my [7919]:

I asked Paul previously, in [7903]: "What is required to empirically 
demonstrate the existence of unequal exchange?".  Paul didn't 
answer that question in [7914] but instead asserted -- without an 
attempt at explanation -- that  the concept of unequal exchange in the
 works of [listmember] Samir Amin  struck him  as  "complete rubbish".

After Alejandro, in [7917], wrote:

> I agree with Paul: in general unequal exchange is a misleading 
discussion. Amin and Emannuel  did several mistakes. By example, 
Emannuel ignored the tendency to sell  products at similar prices 
in world markets despite huge differences in productivitys.  <

I asked, in [7919]:

> Yet,  Ernest Mandel's perspective on unequal exchange 
didn't ignore that tendency, did it? <


> "... Mandel wrote provocatively that: "*From the Marxist point
of view, i.e. from the standpoint of a consistent labour theory of value,
underdevelopment is ultimately always underemployment, both 
quantitatively (mass unemployment) and qualitatively (low productivity
of labour)*" (_Late Capitalism_,  NLB, 1975, pp. 60-61, emphasis in 
original).  Do you agree or disagree?" <

My intent was to get Paul and Alejandro and others to confront 
perspectives on unequal exchange (UE) which are different from 
that of Emmanuel and Amin and which don't make the kind of 
"mistakes" those authors supposedly made.  Mandel was  
selected because his works demonstrate that one can -- regardless 
of whether one agrees or disagrees with his perspective -- develop 
a theory of UE which is substantively different from that of 
Emmanuel , etc.    Mandel's writings on UE also, like those of 
Carchedi (see below) have not been discussed on this list before.

Another example:  the writing of [former listmember] Guglielmo 
[Mino] Carchedi on UE in _Frontiers of Political Economy_ (Verso, 
1991: see sections 7.6 -- 7.7).

This returns me to my original question to Paul: what is required to 
empirically demonstrate the existence of  unequal exchange?

What answer would others on the list offer for that question?

In solidarity, Jerry

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