Re: [OPE] Shaikh and McNally: "Marx and the Global Economic Crisis,"

From: Ian Wright <>
Date: Tue Sep 15 2009 - 13:22:35 EDT

Here's a Marx quote for you Jurriaan, from Volume 3:

`the general rate of profit is never anything more than a tendency, a
movement to equalize specific rates of profit. The competition between
capitalists -- which is itself this movement toward **equilibrium** --
consists here of their gradually withdrawing capital from spheres in
which profit is for an appreciable length of time below average, and
gradually investing capital into spheres in which profit is above
average' (my emphasis).

Classical Political Economy is built around the concept of gravitation
toward natural prices, given the assumption of "holding some things
still", i.e. the determinants of natural prices, such as the
productivity of labor.

A market economy does reproduce itself over time. The price-quantity
dynamics instantiate a homeostatic kernel: if it didn't it we wouldn't
be living it today. I emphasize "kernel" since, in a complex system
such as economy, there are many layers of dynamics, many
contradictions etc. We cannot "have the science before the science",
so we need to employ the power of abstraction to begin to tease apart
the different layers of dynamics.

Alejandro: this is the context in which to understand the concept of
natural price. To argue that a natural price equilibrium is *never*
empirically realized is missing the point somewhat. This would be like
arguing that a air-conditioning system that pumps heat out of a room
is *not* functioning to attain a reference temperature simply because
someone left a window open and the reference temperature is
empirically never attained.

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Received on Tue Sep 15 13:28:16 2009

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