From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Feb 13 2006 - 09:21:16 EST
Hi Ian, I haven't read Lippi's book. Your quote from Lippi is very useful. You wrote 'I think if we want to take this discussion further the next step is to critically evaluate Fine et. al's response to the TP. My knowledge of it is limited to the articles in the "Value Dimension" collection. My feeling is that it does not address the N-R critique on its own terms -- it changes the terms of the problem. Hence, it is not a reply.' I broadly agree that this is the way for our discussion to go but I think you have to be a bit more careful in how you want to address the TP. As your response to Fred makes clear, you do not think that one always has to address a theory in its own terms, at least if that means *accepting* those terms. To the contrary, you rightly point out that there is one reality - if the terms of an approach do not properly correspond to that reality then an immanent critique of the approach will bring out the mismatch of the terms with reality (to put it rather too crudely). (There is also the issue of interpretation of Marx which I will not pursue.) I wanted, in this post, to elaborate on my view of the TP (which is an interpretation of Fine/Saad-Filho) but then I realised that the way you have put your neo-R style critique is not yet clear to me. Before detailing my view, I am afraid I am therefore going to have to nit-pick your own as follows. Your argument [with neo-R hat] is actually quite curious. Rather than arguing that the neo-R case is the general case and hence refutes the LTV, you are arguing that the neo-R case is an 'important' special case and hence refutes the LTV. Doesn't this mean that your 'special' case is in some sense not so special but is in fact general? Your argument crucially rests on the view that there is an 'intimate relation' between the general case and the special case. The meaning of 'intimate relation' must be, as far as I can tell, that the special case shows that, in the general case, SNLT cannot have any relation whatsoever with price. I.e. no 'necessary relation' in the special case indicates no necessary relation in the general case. Could you spell out why you think this? By way of context, I would say that Marx's static transformation demonstrates that prices of production and SNLT are likely to be very close *relative* to the magnitude of actual fluctuations due to boom and bust (the chapter of Michael Perelman's that he gave a link to recently on this list nicely discusses such dynamics). I would say that this shows there is a dynamically necessary relation between SNLT and price and that this is very clear prior to the transformation of the inputs. Hence transformation of the inputs is not very important. But before I elaborate let me give you a chance to answer my questions above. Many thanks, Andy PS throughout our discussion I am ignoring the point I made a couple of posts ago that 'prices' are not causally efficacious as scalars.
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