[OPE-L] Stocks and flows in Marx's theory (question for Dave Z.)

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Tue Nov 27 2007 - 16:20:29 EST

Dave Z. wrote:

"The trouble with this approach is that it is not easy to cast into a dynamic model that makes meaningful predictions."

The question I have is, why you think this is necessarily the case. Is there a main logical reason, or is the reason technical, e.g. a question of too many interactions between too many variables?

In science, generally, you have a norm that one aims for the simplest theory with the greatest explanatory and predictive power. 

One might think that a "subtle" theory acknowledging many distinctions and variables would have more predictive power, but, with a complex theory, it might be much more difficult to specify why a definite train of events is entailed, rather than another one, and what exactly an observed trend should be attributed too, if it is observed - precisely because the theory permits many permutations of events. 

It may be, that a complex theory is better at generating predictions for general, longterm trends, and that a simpler theory is able to generate better predictions about shortterm trends. Perhaps we need both. 

Generally, I think a theory of capitalist dynamics is above all a theory about socio-economic competition, of which class conflicts are a component, and which cannot be understood without its antithesis, namely socio-economic co-operation (as you might expect, the scientific literature about competition is vast, and the scientific literature on co-operation is tiny by comparison).


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