Re: [OPE-L] gen equ and sraffa

From: David Laibman (dlaibman@SCIENCEANDSOCIETY.COM)
Date: Fri Oct 26 2007 - 14:09:04 EDT

Hi, all.
I can't get too deeply into the Sraffa discussion, but I might just
interject one small anecdote.  John Eatwell recalls discussing with
Sraffa the question, Why is there not more history, dynamics, value,
theory of exploitation, crisis, accumulation tendencies, and so forth,
in *Production of Commodities*?  Sraffa's reply: "Marx already wrote
that book.  Why should I repeat what has already been done?"  So, for
what it is worth, we have this reported instance of Sraffa himself a)
affirming that he is working in the tradition begun by Marx, but that b)
he is concerned, in this particular book, with a narrow topic within
that tradition: laying the foundation for a logical critique of
neoclassical theory.
      All best,

glevy@PRATT.EDU wrote:
>> I personally find PoCbmoC very autistic, not that impressing.
> Hi Anders:
> I'm assuming that this is a translation issue: right?
> Rather than autistic (see e.g. <>),
> what word did you intend to write?
>> How is
>> it possible to write such a book - and not relate more explicitly to
>> the history of economic ideas, where this book places itself in the
>> theoretical landscape etc. etc.
> I think that's one of its chief advantages.  It's concise nature keeps the
> readers' focus on the most important qestions of theory from the author's
> perspective and thus prevents readers from being side-tracked into obscure
> history of thought issues.  In any event, this is a question associated
> with the *form of exposition*. One can make no inferences
> about a writer's ability to critique other perspectives and grasp of the
> history of thought based merely on the absence of that material in a
> particular writing.  As we all know, one of Sraffa's strong points was as
> a historian of economic thought so his not going into the history of
> thought in _PCBMOC_ shows basically nothing about the author or the book.
> In solidarity, Jerry

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