Re: [OPE-L] equality versus equivalence

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Jul 16 2007 - 19:31:05 EDT


When I talk about the "empirical explanatory power of Marx's theory", I
don't mean a good fit between labor-times and prices.  I disagree with
Paul on this point.  Theoretically, I don't think that Marx's theory
predicts that prices in capitalism will be proportional to labor-times,
because of the equalization of the rate of profit.


This is a point where we do seem to part company Fred, since the
empirical evidence
Shows Marx and Ricardo to have been wrong in assuming an equalisation of
the rate
Of profit. You are of course right in saying that Marx's vol 3 theory
did not predict
Such a close correlation between prices and labour values as has been
found, but this error in his theory stems from him uncritically
accepting Ricardo's doctrine of an equalised rate of profit.

When I say "empirical explanatory power", I mean:
        explanation of the necessity of money and the value of money
        explanation of profit and the magnitude of profit
        explanation of conflicts between capitalist and workers
over wages, and the working day, and the intensity of labor
         explanation of inherent technological change,            the
trend in the rate of profit, periodic crises, etc.
All these important phenomena in capitalism are explained as the
*necessary consequences* of SNLT as the substance of value.

The explanatory power of Marx's theory on all these important phenomena
in capitalism is much greater than any other theory of value -
including especially the neoclassical supply and demand theory of
value, which can explain none of the above important phenomena.

As you put it, Marx's theory provides an "explanatory structure" (SNLT
as the substance of value) that is "capable of accounting for the
empirical phenomena being investigated" (e.g. the phenomena listed

Do you see any differences between what you are saying and what I am

Thanks for your clarification.


This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Jul 31 2007 - 00:00:06 EDT