Re: (OPE-L) Re: Dismal Science

From: Phil Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 21:01:13 EST

>Hi Phil. Happy new year!
>Couldn't  Marx's  analysis of capitalism in _Capital_,
>along with the critique of political economy therein,
>[if examined in isolation] also be said to be "dismal
>science"?   To take an example from Volume I (since I
>know you prefer that to Volume III), even though the
>"general law of capitalist accumulation" represents an
>alternative to Malthusian  theory,  what -- if anything --
>tells us that it isn't  *also* "dismal science"?
>In solidarity, Jerry

Hi Jerry

Happy New Year.  The last one was pretty dismal. This one could be even worse.

I am am not sure what this 'historical physics' approach has got to
do with Marx.  He certainly discusses the centralization of capital
(CI ch25 s2).  "The world would still be without railways if it had
to wait until accumulation had got a few individual capitals far
enough to be adequate for the construction of a railway.
Centralization, however, accomplishes this in the twinkling of an
eye, by means of joint-stock companies."
He quite admires this.

But there is no way he is going to arrive at Pareto behaviour, as far
as I can see.

It serves me right for choosing a jazzy subject line, but the sheer
difficulty of escaping from the 'game' does seem to merit the word


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