Re: [OPE-L] Truncating Marx

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 16:09:28 EDT

Ian and Jurriaan:

Already in the late 1970's and early 1980's, scholars including Anwar
Shaikh and Paolo Giussani (before there was a TSSI) advanced a perspective
on equilibrium which basically claimed that equilibrium is a special case
in a dis-equilibrium model. This makes sense to me since since - even if
only as a frame of reference - a disequilibrium model _requires_ a
specification of equilibrium conditions since otherwise how would you know
that the system was in disequilibrium?  This was discussed - if I recall
correctly - by Giussani in his writings on the reproduction schemes in
Volume II in relation to the analysis in Volume III of Capital as a Whole.
He emphasized how the reproduction schemes demonstrated the _formal,
abstract possibility_ of both crisis _and_ equilibrium. Shaikh (I can't
recall exactly where - maybe in a lecture) used the metaphor of a road:
i.e. equilibrium is like a point along a road, but there can be no
presumption that the system is a) in equilibrium, or b) that it's headed
towards equilibrium, or c) that if in equilibrium it will stay in
equilibrium.  The powerful road metaphor suggests that "Equilibrium" is
analogous to a town by the same name that you may never arrive at and if
you arrive at you might simply continue on the road away from the town of
"Equilibrium".  Their visions of equilibrium could thus be seen to be
within the context of understanding capitalism as a dynamic process of
disequilibrium. (NB: there is no mention above or below of the TP).

I had raised (many years ago in discussions with advocates of the TSSI)
this question of the role of equilibrium in disequilibrium theory, but
didn't get any real responses.  I agree with Ian that it's a problem for
their perspective.

In solidarity, Jerry

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