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

From: Anders Ekeland (anders.ekeland@ONLINE.NO)
Date: Sun Oct 21 2007 - 12:59:51 EDT

Dear Gary,

- I am short of time so I cannot give a well argued answer just now.

- But only the title you must have known would have been very
offending: "Vulgar economy in a Marxian garb", nothing like a "TSSI:
a well intended but unsuccessful attempt to solve fundamental issues
in Marxian Economy".

I'll be back in this issue when I have reread your RRPE paper.


At 19:52 20.10.2007, you wrote:
>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
>         >frustrating.]
>         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!
>         Regards
>         Anders

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