[OPE] Value form theory 101

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Sat Dec 20 2008 - 02:48:26 EST


Thanks for your comment with which I agree. I do value Rubin's viewpoint, in fact, I do have his Essays here, and the other day I was talking with fellow OPE-Ler Martin Kragh (economic historian from Stockholm) here in Amsterdam, about publishing some of Rubin's unpublished writings, which Martin had located in the Russian archives.

But on a number of issues, I personally take a somewhat different view from Rubin, either because I prefer Marx's own original argument, or because I think that a somewhat different interpretation is more consistent with the historical data readily available, if people would only care to look at it.

The point I made previously - and which Jerry felt aggrieved about - is essentially the same as yours, although you state it better and more eloquently: why concede a theoretical position to your critics, when in fact there is massive empirical and logical evidence in favour of your own theoretical position, and very little for its main rival?

Why be distracted by detractors, who are too blind to even see that?

Well, three of the main motives there are for such unwarranted concessions are:

- that "you want to get on with certain circles of people" (a sort of benign opportunism)
- that in fact "you don't even know what your own position commits you to" (a false assessment of its strengths and weaknesses)
- that events temporarily or superficially seem to contradict your position (being overimpressed by the opposition)

I think Marx's theory of value as it stands does not (yet) explain various economic phenomena, but Marx's radicality is really to make an argument that if you cannot even explain what he does try to explain, you cannot really explain any macro-economic phenomena at all.


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Received on Sat Dec 20 02:50:14 2008

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