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

From: Ernesto Screpanti (screpanti@UNISI.IT)
Date: Wed Feb 18 2004 - 08:35:22 EST

Dear Jerry and Riccardo,

I would be very happy to discuss about the theory of value. But please, not 
about "what Marx really said".

Riccardo says that my interpretation of Marx is wrong. May be he (as 
Carchedi & co.) is a true believer and knows the  Truth as it is revealed 
in the Book. Not me. Please let's discuss about economics and logic, and 
avoid the "ipse dixit" method.

My article "Value and Exploitation: A Counter-Factual Approach" has come 
out in the "Review of Political Economy", 2003. Another article in which I 
criticise Carchedi's TSS Bible will come out on the same journal in 2004. 
In both articles I never rise questions of correct interpretations.  I rise 
substantive and formal problems with the theories of value and exploitation.

In solidarity


At 15.29 16/02/2004 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi Jerry,
>my answer would be:
>(i) yes, Ernesto's paper are "lies", since - in my opinion - his 
>interpretation of Matx is unwarranted and wrong
>(ii) no, they are not "damned lies", an expression of criticism on which 
>TSS people has specialized, and that add nothing to the issues debated
>(iii) in sum, Ernesto's attitude towards Marx is the right one, a critical 
>attitude, against which it is legitimate to argue against; what cannot be 
>accepted is that there are critics who pretend they have the Marx's 
>About the Rome conference, as probably I told you at the time, I received 
>more or lessa month before a short mail by Andrew Kliman, the content was: 
>"will you come to the Rome conference where your interpretation of Marx 
>will be destroyed?".
>I answered: Andrew, I cannot come to a conference I don't know it exists, 
>and at which I have not been invited in advance, and that I don't even 
>know it exists (note: of course Foley and Mongiovi etc. must have been 
>alerted much before). I received a kind of circular letter some days after 
>by Vasapollo of the Laboratorio, with the date fixed, inviting all those 
>who wanted to come. I had exams, defined some weeks before, and I could not go.
>Note: in the book the Old Myth which was discussed at the conference, I 
>was very heavily (and critically) attacked. I love that, provided you have 
>an opportunity to reply, on a plan of equality and in your terms. You 
>would expect I would have sometime been invited to have my opportunity to 
>rebut those criticism? Never. If my English is not good enough, let me 
>repeat it in several languages: Never.  Jamais, Jamas, Mai. Alan Freeman 
>repeatedly told me that I would have been welcome to discuss the TSS, in 
>their own terms of course, not in mine. To express my views about marx was 
>not anymore very productive. To ask me to answer their criticism leaving 
>me free to say what *I* thought is something they never imagined as sensible.
>This tells all about this stream of thought. In the book the Old Myth my 
>position was purported by Kliman and Carchedi in terms which clearly 
>contradicts my theses, more than that against what I have many times said 
>again and again. Examples: I have NEVER said that my criticism to Marx 
>were minor, as Andrew says, I think they are major, and lead to major 
>changes. I only said that in my view this changes lead to reinstate on 
>better terms Marx's exploitation theory. I NEVER said, as Carchedi says 
>about me, that there are successive approximations in Marx, something 
>against which I have battled all my life. I taleked about what Rubin 
>called the "method of comparison", giving quotes from Marx's Capital I, 
>and I insisted again and again (contrary to what Carchedi says about me) 
>that this method involves a comparison with a situation which is 
>fundamental and express real magnitudes in capitalism. But it seem that 
>what they want for (their interpretation of) Marx and themselves has not 
>to be allowed to others: a fair representation of what you want to criticize.
>So, you see, I very much like to discuss with Ernesto, though I disagree 
>with a lot of what he says about marx, likely 93%, but I have found 
>completely useless to discuss with (most, not all) TSS people as long as 
>they do not accept that, before than answers, questions may be different 
>among us, and methods, and styles of thought, and that respect has to be 
>granted not in words but in practice for ALL, within and outside Marxism 
>(what they often says about Sraffa, to say one thing, is ridicolous: the 
>more so for those of us who were serious enough to go to Cambridge and try 
>to understand what really Sraffa thought about Marx).
>At 8:33 -0500 15-02-2004, gerald_a_levy wrote:
>>Hi Phil:
>>There was a conference in Rome last year,  organised, I think,  by 
>>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 
>>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
>Riccardo Bellofiore
>Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
>"Hyman P. Minsky"
>UniversitÓ di Bergamo
>Via dei Caniana 2
>I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
>direct    +39-035-2052545
>secretary +39-035 2052501
>fax:      +39 035 2052549

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