Re: (OPE-L) Ernesto's "Damned Lies" ?

From: Phil Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Mon Feb 16 2004 - 22:12:07 EST

>Hi Phil:
>There was a conference in Rome last year,  organised, I think,  by Laboratorio
>per la Critical Sociale.  Ernesto Screpanti's paper was entitled
>'Value and Exploitation:
>A Counterfactual Approach'.  From the first paragraph
>:.. Cavallaro's appeal to beware of mystifying labour values lets us
>hope that the
>search can proceed along correct lines today, avoiding certain
>scholastic forcings
>which we have witnessed in the past, although the interventions of Carchedi,
>Freeman and Kliman seem to want to kill this hope at birth.
>This could well elicit a response.
>Thanks for the information.  I don't think anyone -- and perhaps least
>of all, Ernesto --  would fault the author for responding to "Value and
>Exploitation: A Counterfactual Approach."   There is  a question,
>though,  about _how_ to respond.
>Do you think that Ernesto has been spreading "Lies, Damned Lies" about
>Would you agree that there should have been another title selected for the
>Kliman paper?
>In solidarity, Jerry

Hi Jerry

First a couple of corrections.  It is the  Laboratorio per la Critica
Sociale, not Critical, and the conference was in 2002, not last year.

I have not seen Andrew Kliman's paper so I cannot really comment on
title selection.

To quote Screpanti: The [orthodox] theory [of exploitation] is
incoherent if applied to the capitalist mode of production.  In a
system of competitive equilibrium  ... etc., etc.

I do not agree with either the orthodox theory or Screpanti's, but
that is irrelevant.  It is the charge of incoherence that - I would
guess-  would attract the 'Damned Lies' bit.  The issues of
interpretation are whether Marx was, at root, an equilibrium theorist
and whether he has been reconstructed to be one.

Would you agree that the charge of systematic inconsistency against
Marx acts to exclude Marxist thought from any consideration (in

I say this even though I reject price of production theory.  There is
no tendency of profit rates towards uniformity.
Also I am not opposed to equilibrium as such, only certain
equilibrium theories.


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