Re: (OPE-L) Robinson and Marx

From: Anders Ekeland (anders.ekeland@ONLINE.NO)
Date: Wed Nov 24 2004 - 16:30:01 EST

My hasty characterisation of JR and deconstruction where not carefully
worded - to put it that way. But just to throw in my 2 cents:

I think JR was pretty good when she was exposing the fundamental weaknesses
of GET. She is mostly a pleasure to read, she can be recommended to any
orthodox GE economist that shows signs of doubt in GE. Just read her 1969
preface to "Ec. of Imp. Comp"

When it comes to other parts of her work I am much more critical, espec.
her critique of the labour theory of value is not impressing in my opinion.
Her views on China, North Korea needs a nuanced evaluation, cannot be
summed up in one polemical sentence.

The great divide in economics is between dynamic and static theory. Static
capitalism is a contradictio in adjectivo and static models can never be
the fundament of Marxian economics IMHO. As a Marxist I have more in common
with any burgeois economist of the dynamic type (the evolutionary ones)
than with Bortkiewicz, Roemer et al. We shall not acccept any "result" from
a static model, that is not verified by a dynamic model, i.e.
stability/robustness of equilibria is crucial.

A Sraffian system is OK as as an immanent critique of GE theory, but not as
a fundament for real, general economic theory. And when people find it
problematic that a Sraffa model is not closed by purely "economic" factors,
this is for me just a reminder of how much work there is before economics
gets a dynamic foundation and becomes integrated with the other social
sciences. The economy is not a deterministic machine, it is full of people,
of idelogical fights, of political activity, full of *learning*.  And
learning is a dynamic concept per definition.

One could have wished that JR would have led the way for dynamic economics
based on a renewed labour theory of value. She did not, but despite that I
am convinced that she was on the right side of the divide.

Anders Ekeland

At 20:56 24.11.2004, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
>At 7:26 PM +0100 11/24/04, Riccardo Bellofiore wrote:
>>I agree too, Paul. In fact, as some of my posts testify, I go even
>>further, I think taht some point of this tradition must be included
>>critically in a renewed Marxism. My point was about what happened
>>after the mid 70s. I think Neoclassical mounted an efffective
>>reaction. I guess that the same Robinson was not very happy with a
>>criticism of Neoclassicism which stopped at the critique of
>>neoclassical capital theory, and insisted that we should go towards
>>an approach which included time and history in an essential way. Does
>>this mean that we have to accept the idea that value is just
>>metaphysics? At the same time, I accept as substantially true her
>>criticism of the falling rate of profits.
>But then why try to pass off this tradition (or Roemer's) as a
>renewed Marxism? This I don't understand. Perhaps we need to talk in
>Lakatosian terms about the hard core? Marxism is not a church, so it
>cannot be a broad church either.

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