[OPE-L:140] Whoa!

Michael A. Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Mon, 25 Sep 1995 23:28:34 -0700

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As spectacular as some of the exchanges have been, I think that if we are
going to accomplish what we set out out to do in this group, this really
has to stop. I was sympathetic to Alan Freeman's comment that Jerry passed
" I find I cannot keep up with the 'rapid fire' discussions
on PEN-L and the marxism list, and in fact I have quit the Marxism list
for this reason. I think it is an excellent enterprise but I just
don't have the time. I like to think about things for a bit. If we could
have longer but more considered discussions on the proposed new list I would be greatly
in favour of it."
Of course, before I could ever make a comment on this, there were all
these exchanges on the LTOV, value and exploitation, the concept of laws in
Marx, inner vs outer levels of study and yet more on value, exploitation,
specifically capitalist exploitation, etc--- all of which I was tempted to
respond to if I had a moment to think about my responses first. Let's have a
little discipline, comrades. The intent of this list, as I understand it, is
not to allow us to display our individual brilliance and speed at moving out
of the starting gate but rather to allow for a process of collective
exchange and enquiry on a matter which we agree calls for this. Rather than
a list of a type we are familar with (Pen, Marxism, etc), we should think of
this more as a conference (even a conference call). On my one experience
with a conference, we set time periods for each segment of our discussion;
eg., one week for a discussion of the "Plan", etc. I think we should
consider this seriously. Otherwise, we'll find some people begin to drift
away as they get overwhelmed.
Another procedural point. There are some things this group will never
agree about. One is certainly "Value". Between Gil, Jim and Paul C (not to
mention the rest of us who haven't jumped in here or in the previews in
PEN), the understanding of value is quite different. I think at the
appropriate point (which is not yet), everyone should have an opportunity to
state their position on the question, that we should not try to seek an
agreement, but that we should proceed according to the maxim of the "proof
of the pudding"--- ie., that people should indicate as we go on how their
understanding of value would lead to different conclusions. There'll be
other places where we'll want to take the same approach; one of this may be
with respect to the 6 book plan, which I'll address separately.
in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office: (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
Home: (604) 255-0382
Lasqueti Island (current location): (604) 333-8810
e-mail: mlebowit@sfu.ca