[OPE-L] Rethinking Keynesian policies and the quantitative determination of value

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Wed Dec 14 2005 - 07:43:37 EST

The current issue of RETHINKING MARXISM a journal of economics, culture
& society [Vol 18 No 1; January 2006], in addition to having a
symposium on Gramsci ["In this symposium we highlight both the
often-undervalued practice of translation and the significance of
rereading-and rethinking-classic Marxian texts with a symposium on
Joseph Buttigieg's new edition of Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks"],
has a couple of articles that you might find to be of interest (abstracts

Any reactions?

In so0lidarity, Jerry


The Fallacies of Keynesian Policies  p. 63
Guglielmo Carchedi
This article examines the effectiveness of Keynesian policies from the
perspective of Marxian value theory. It starts from a sketch of the
economic cycle, whose ultimate cause is identified in the decreasing
production of (surplus) value following technological innovations, and
argues that the strongest case for Keynesian civilian policies is not
the redistribution of a (decreasing) mass of value. Rather, they should
spur the production of more value through the state-induced
mobilization of idle capital and/or Labor's savings. In this case, they
can initially increase profitability and/or wages and/or employment,
but they cannot create the conditions for an upturn and boom. Similar
conclusions are reached concerning military Keynesian policies. The
paper concludes by arguing that Labor should fight for state-induced,
Capital-financed public works (and for reforms in general) not from the
perspective of Keynesian policies (i.e., as if they were
Labor-friendly, effective anticrisis devices), but from the perspective
of thoroughly different social relations-that is, relations based on
cooperation, equality, and solidarity.

The "Quantitative Approach" to the Marxian Concept of Value  p. 121
Kepa M. Ormazabal
This paper is concerned with what I call the "quantitative approach" to
the "transformation problem" of chapter 9 of volume 3 of capital, very
widespread in the literature. I call it so because it conceives the
"transformation of value into competitive price" as a relationship
between quantities of labor-value and quantities of money price. Such a
conception of the transformation of value into competitive price
presupposes that value has quantitative determination. My central
contention in this paper is that this presupposition contradicts Marx's
idea that labor is the substance or immanent measure of value. In Marx,
labor cannot be money, which means that value as such does not have a
quantitative determination apart from price expressed in some product
of labor. Accordingly, there are no such things as "labor-values" and
the transformation of value into competitive price does not contradict
the determination of value by labor or Marx's "law of exchange": it is
the process through which labor-value becomes objectified as money
price in such a way as to equalize the profit rate of capitals of a
nonuniform composition. With the "transformation" of value into
competitive price, Marx refutes Ricardo's refutation of the labor
theory of value in principles

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