Re: [OPE-L] Incoherence of the TSSI - consensus?

From: Gary Mongiovi (MONGIOVG@STJOHNS.EDU)
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 13:52:00 EDT

To Anders: I'm curious--what do you find objectionable about my RRPE paper? I concede that it is highly critical of TSSI, and that it expresses its disagreement in strong terms. But when I was writing it I tried very hard to address issues of substance in a careful & respectful way. In the end I found no merits in the position I was critiquing: but does that in itself mean that I was not constructively engaging with the TSSI position?
-----Original Message----- 
From: OPE-L on behalf of Anders Ekeland 
Sent: Sat 10/20/2007 1:31 PM 
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Incoherence of the TSSI - consensus?

	Mohun wrote:
	>Not Gary Mongiovi, but Simon Mohun.
	Yes, but I wrote purposely Mongiovi. I do not see his: "Vulgar
	economy in Marxian garb: a critique of Temporal Single System
	Marxism." as a role model for really engaging with people with other
	points of view.
	Veneziani followed up this in a contribution to the 2006 AHE
	conference, better in style, but still just the type of "polemics"
	that we all know to well in the seventies.
	>And you are not quite right - it is because Roberto and I do not find
	>the "reclaiming Marx" exercise convincing that we are not willing to
	>accept what you call its "very limited claims".
	I have not read your and Roberto's article, so I cannot comment on
	that one in particular. My point was that Kliman and Freeman is no
	worse in reporting - and trying to understand the motives of people
	with whom they disagree than Mongiovi and Veneziani whom I have read.
	I was addressing Jerry's call for a vote, not directly the real
	issues involved.
	>>The limits to the TSSI, i.e. that it is not a real positive theory,
	>>i.e. a model that shows how capitalism works, are not recognized,
	>>because the Sraffa model is of course even more totally unreal
	>>(nothing changes).
	>The TSSI has nothing to say about how capitalism actually works - that
	>is not its avowed purpose. [Since most of my own work is about how
	>capitalism actually works, engaging with the TSSI is singularly
	Since we agree here, and this point is very clearly stated by A.F and
	A.K - so why be frustrated? Why just drop the debate about if Marx is
	internally consistent? That debate is only interesting as part of a
	hegemonic debate - which is very important from a political point of
	view. But from a view of how capitalism does work, whether the
	important results that Marx thought he had elaborated are true the
	"reclaiming debate" is not the one that is going to give us the
	positive theory, the real restatement of the essence of Marx' project.
	To take an example: Although I disagree with Rosdolsky on several
	points on how capitalism actually works, and where I think Marx (and
	Rosdolsky) were/are wrong/fragmentary/limited by the historical
	experiences with capitalism so far etc. - I really feel that
	Rosdolsky understands Marx, that his interpretation is in Marx'
	spirit, that if Marx and Rosdolsky met they would have had long,
	fruitful exchanges of views. When reading Steedman, Elster, Roemer -
	I do not get that feeling at all. I think Marx very quickly would
	have gotten very irritated by the fundamentally static, un-dialectic
	approach of the linear-algebraic method - and had no sympathy at all
	for this type of "corrections" - not at all understanding why the
	equality of profit and surplus value, of total value and total prices
	are absolutely necessary invariants if you are going to explain
	labour(time) as the source(measure) of value.
	>>As I have said before it is an open question to me if one can make an
	>>static equilibrium model of capitalism that is interesting.
	>You can find my own approach in
	>"A Re(in)statement of the Labour Theory of Value". Cambridge Journal of
	>Economics 18(4), 1994: 391-412
	>"Does All Labour Create Value?", pp. 42-58 in A. Saad-Filho (ed.),
	>Anti-Capitalism: a Marxist Introduction. London: Pluto Press, 2003
	>"On Measuring the Wealth of Nations: the U.S. Economy, 1964-2001".
	>Cambridge Journal of Economics 29(5), 2005: 799-815
	>"Distributive Shares in the U.S. Economy, 1964-2001". Cambridge Journal
	>of Economics 30(3), 2006: 347-70
	Thanks for very useful references!

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