Re: [OPE] Reply to Paul Cockshott on neo-Smithian Marxism andequilibrium

From: Philip Dunn (
Date: Sun Apr 27 2008 - 19:23:29 EDT

Dave Zachariah is quite right about deterministic chaos but F&M propose
a probabilistic model which is truly non-deterministic. This is combined
with a deterministic value theory. Value, what they call labour-content,
is determined ex ante in a way that within the range of conventional
theories of labour value (the potential-generic approach).

I think the statistical approach can be taken further. Do strictly ex
post value accounting. The value of any produced commodity is equal to
the value of the money it is sold for, the dollar price times value of
money. (here the [absolute] value of a unit of money is the reciprocal
of the MELT). Price value deviations vanish but there are still
deviations between ex post value added and the power of the producer
commodity to create value. Value creation is non-deterministic. This
power is measured by the real value of wages, dollar wage times real
value of money (total labour time divided by total wages). The ratio of
value added to the power to create value is the key random variable, the
valorisation ratio, the ratio of absolute money measured labour to real
money measured labour-power.

On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 16:20 +0200, Dave Zachariah wrote:
> on 2008-04-26 18:50 Jurriaan Bendien wrote:
> > It is difficult to understand how a chaotic system can be a 
> > "system",  how a chaos can be determinate, how a chaos can be in 
> > equilibrium, or what the equilibrium in a chaos would consist of, 
> > beyond the constancy of chaos.
> >  
> > Seems to me to be the task of theory to specify to what extent (in 
> > what sense) a system is determinate and to what extent it features 
> > indeterminacy. A minimal condition for a scientific theory is that it 
> > permits us to predict that some states of affairs are more likely than 
> > others, and that some states of affairs cannot happen. Random 
> > variability in a distribution would therefore exist only within 
> > certain specifiable limits.
> >  
> > If the phenomenon being studied is truly a chaos, it does not permit 
> > of a scientific theory about it. In reality, price movements are 
> > rarely chaotic, though if I relate price movements of completely 
> > different commodities I might find that there is no statistical 
> > correlation between them at all, and that their relationship do 
> > not follows any general pattern. But all that says is that from a 
> > certain point of view a phenomenon is chaos - from another point of 
> > view it is determinate.
> Actually, strictly speaking "chaotic systems" are deterministic. They 
> are completely determined by their laws of motion and boundary 
> conditions. What makes them "chaotic" is that their future states are 
> practically impossible to predict given current information. That is 
> because an infinitesimally small perturbation of the initial conditions 
> can drastically alter their path in the state-space.
> But this does not preclude the scientific study of temporally 
> unpredictable systems. C.f. evolutionary biology or geology.
> //Dave Z
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