Re: (OPE-L) Ajit's paper

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Mon May 31 2004 - 04:56:00 EDT


on your first point, I wonder how you can think a proposition can be
formally incorrect if it follows necessarily from an argument
according to which all the social product represents in money nothing
but living labour, extracted in a specifici social way: the problem
may be how to articulate price and value, not that value is "nothing
but" that monetary expression in that definite social form.

on your second point, as long as the methods of production are fixed,
well, not only Neoclassical questions (based on "change") disappear:
also Marx's, since the value and surplus value theory is all about
money, the determination of the length of the social working day, the
insensity of work, the change in techniques, etc: I guess you have
read Volume I of Capital. May be Marx didn't realize that when you
come to define prices and assume that the technique is given, it is
meaningless trying to "prove" that the social product comes from
nothing but the exploitation of living labour; but the critics who
crucify KM for this simply cancels his problems.

Just a question: how do you explain that Sraffa never said a SINGLE
word against Marx's LTV, say, from the 1930s on? That all the oral
tradition I know goes in the other direction? That the written
Archive paper show that he tried to maintain a STRONG reference to
Marx's LTV say, at least, until the early 40s, well on in the
construction of the 1960 book? That even after the book he even,
consistently, defended Marx's transformation?

I am more interested in opening problems than reaching too quick answers.


At 0:55 -0700 31-05-2004, ajit sinha wrote:
>--- Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>>  Ajit,
>>  I look forward to reading your paper (and there is
>>  the one in Westra,
>>  et al.). A few quick points.
>>  1. The money commodity should not be treated as any
>>  other commodity
>>  in a set of simultaneous equation: more than the the
>>  average rate of
>>  profit will tend to be secured in this branch (see
>>  Michelle Naples on
>>  absolute rent in the precious metal sector), and
>>  there is no
>>  mechanism by which to affect supply such that the
>>  average rate of
>>  profit will have been made in the "money branch"
>>  over the long term
>>  (see my OPE-L posts, based on my reading of Ricardo
>>  and Malthus:
>>  Fred Moseley has of course written on this (see his
>>  website).
>Rakesh, None of these people can answer my very simple
>question--the question that I asked you in the other
>post, that you have not answered yet. So let me again
>reiterate. Let's say somebody says, 'the value of a
>commodity x is 10 hours of socially necessary abstract
>labor'; Is this statement formally correct or
>incorrect. If incorrect, then why and if correct, then
>formally how can one arrive at the measure of 10 hours
>of SNA labor?
>>  4. While Hahn questions the assumption of input and
>>  output prices as
>>  equal in order to enter demand considerations to
>>  close the equations,
>>  Giusanni, Freeman and others question that
>>  assumption in order to put
>>  technical change into the formalism.
>Hahn is coming from intertemporal general equilibrium
>position. Whatever one may think of the GE, one cannot
>deny that it is a theory of prices. For the A-D model,
>different time periods define different commodities,
>and thus can have different prices. But these prices
>are determined by the determinants other than prices.
>That's why it qualifies to be a theory of prices. If
>they determined prices of a commodity in time t on the
>basis of observed prices of the same commodity in time
>t-1, then it would not be a theory of prices but
>rather be simple mumbo-jumbo, which is what TSS is.
>Hahn's critique of Sraffa on this score is not sound.
>All Sraffa's equations are saying is that the rate of
>profits is calculated on the basis of the replacement
>coast of the physical capital items used up in
>production. As far as technical change is concerned,
>since technique of production is one of the
>determinant of prices, a change in technique will
>definitely explain change in prices, but it will be
>the technique in use that must explain the prices at
>any time. Cheers, ajit sinha
>  That seems to
>  > me to be the real
>  > fight--about how and why to drop the static
>>  assumption in the
>>  Sraffian formalism when it comes to studying actual
>>  capitalist
>>  economies, ie. when one is doing more than
>>  critiquing popular
>>  mythology about the productivity of capital and
>>  profit as just
>>  reward. Sen implicitly recognizes Hahn's point but
>>  pays no attention
>>  to the Marxian criticism. But that's where the
>>  action is.
>>  Rakesh
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Friends.  Fun.  Try the all-new Yahoo! Messenger.


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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