Re: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism?

From: clyder@GN.APC.ORG
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 15:48:17 EST

Quoting ajit sinha <sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM>:

> allow you to move another step. Now, the proposition
> Marx is making is not that empirically profits and
> surplus labor are observed to go together but rather
> the *cause* of profit lies in surplus labor. This
> proposition is simply asserted but never proved by
> Marx.

Marx proves it subject to the proposition that exchange
value is proportionate to labour content. This proposition
is taken over from classical political economy, and as
such did not have to be proven against then existing
opponents. To demand that in the 1860's he addressed
alternative approaches to value that came into being
later is surely anachronistic.

This does leave the interesting scientific questions

1. Was classical political economy right in assuming
   that actual exchange values were closely proportional
   to labour content.
2. If this is the case, why is it the case.

We now know that 1 is true, which leaves question 2.

I think an adequate theory was provided by Farjoun
and Machover. They use statistical mechanics to give
a theoretical explanation for the regularities that
classical political economy had observed and taken as
givens. So we do now have a 'theory of horses', even
if the classicals worked largely on the basis of observed

As I understand it, Ian has an additional theory of his
own as to why the law of value holds, one whose logical
consitency he has subjected to the test of exhaustive
simulation, so you are being a bit harsh when you say
he has no theory.

See: Wright, I. (2006) The emergence of the law of value in a dynamic simple
commodity economy. To appear in Review of Political Economy.
but he has it on his web page at the link

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