Re: [OPE-L] Unequal Exchange "without recourse to the notion of 'value'"?

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Dec 25 2006 - 09:38:45 EST

> Jerry, Latin-American dependency theory pointed out deteriorating exchange 
> terms during 70's. They did not use value concept at all.  I think that such 
> approach is misleading because it ignores productivity (without value concept 
> there are necessary mistakes).


A theory of unequal exchange must posit, at least as a reference point and
special case, the condition of equal exchange. For the same reason, a 
theory of dis-equilibrium must posit, at least as a reference point and
special case,  a condition of equilibrium.  Without such a reference, a 
theory has no way of establishing UE and/or dis-equilibrium.  

If one  claims that there is unequal exchange then one is also claiming 
that there has not been an exchange of equivalents.  Yet, how do we 
know that there has not been equivalent exchange without a theory of
value ???

A problem with dependency theory was its lack of theoretical rigor,
imo.  In a sense, it could be seen as a kind of radical institutionalism.
Yet, without a theory of value it leads one around in circles.   After one
posits UE then one must explain how and why there is UE for which 
_some_ theory of value is required.  Otherwise, one doesn't have a
complete theory -- one is simply asserting that "UE happens".
I think if you scratch dependency theory hard enough then you will 
find some propositions of subjective value theory implicitly assumed.
Try scratching, for instance, what they have to say about S and D.
I can't say too much more, though,  at this time about that without 
dusting-off a number of books.

In solidarity, Jerry

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