Re: [OPE-L] Ajit's Paper on Sraffa and Late Wittgenstein

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Jun 05 2006 - 13:57:50 EDT

Ajit wrote

>  (some people out there who know
>duddly da of Sraffa but think that they have all their
>phoney baloney criticisms worked out should note that
>Sraffa’s wages are ‘money’ wages and not
>commodity-bundle wages) .

What are we to make of your phoney baloney criticisms of
Marx--that the theory of value is metaphysical in the face
of I, ROBOTS and horses , that Marx
is stuck on a transformation problem, that the first
part of Capital is defined by a Walrasian problematic, that Marx
had nothing of interest to say about money in that first part.
This is real baloney and it comes from an dwindling academic
cult in which few people are interested. The only way you
keep yourselves alive is by trying to lead the attack against
someone who achieved  real scientific insight
into the capitalist mode of production, including the necessity of
its deceptive appearances, the dynamics of the organization of actual
production, and  developmental tendencies (globalization,
concentration/centralization, cycles and general crises, speed ups
and intensification).

Now yes you are right in the above,
though many neo Ricardians have have resolved
the distributional parameter by specifying the wage
in real, physical quantity terms and then declared that
value is a detour. This is how Samuelson and Steedman
proceed at times if I remember correctly. And our
own Steve Keen too, but perhaps he'll clarify. I did mix
up Sraffa with his followers who use him in parts to attempt to
annihilate Marx's theory of value.

  But yes  you are correct: Sraffa himself treats
the wage as a share of entire output (but, as Cutler et al ask,
  what do workers do with their share of iron in chapter 2 or basics
that are not means of consumption? and should the necessities
of consumption be relegated to the limbo of non basics? is it truly
impossible, as implied in the Sraffian but not in my reading Marx's model,
that workers' consumption  decisions could 
determine the structure of demand itself?)

Yet the theory of the wage
and workers' consumption is not the main problem.

But as is obvious I am not interested in Sraffa, only in the Sraffian
criticisms of Marx whose work I do know well. And the criticisms coming
from your school are off base.

Among economists Marx had two great critics--Bohm Bawerk and
Schumpeter. von Bortkiewicz, Sraffa and Samuelson do not have
much of importance to say in their criticisms, explicit and implicit,
of Marx.

In fact  Meghnad Desai is a more interesting and relevant critic than these
narrow economists. He leaves for a box in the footnotes
the transformation problem.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jun 30 2006 - 00:00:03 EDT