[OPE-L:295] Re: An odd fact brough to light by Duncan Foley's post

Alan Freeman (100042.617@compuserve.com)
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 10:09:40 -0700

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I was responding to another thread, not to Alan's, in raising the issue
of the Okishio Theorem and the value of labor-power. Sorry if wires got
crossed. I'm still new at this.
Nothing for Duncan to apologise for; but I should apologise to Gil, who, I now
realise after reading the OPE posts in sequence, raised transformation
and FROP first on this list.

It was me who crossed the wires; these two posts made me think about
an issue which they didn't directly raise.

I happened to notice that I had not previously, in my first
contribution on 'topics' for study, raised either Transformation or Okishio.
Since these are topics that myself and Andrew have devoted a lot of time
to in the past, and still think are very important, I thought its omission
(by myself) was sufficiently odd to draw attention to, because

(i) I don't quite know why I did miss them out. I always find that when
something is missing, the fact that is missing is usually almost as
instructive as when it is present. The fact that I omitted it has therefore
given me pause for thought.

I think the main reason was probably that
I don't think the 'problem' of transformation, or the 'problem' of Marx's
alleged errors on the falling rate of profit, really exist. They are problems
which have been created by subsequent authors, using a framework
which, I believe, was not Marx's. Probably the fact that I did not raise them
explicitly as topics for discussion suggests that I probably trust this
list to accept that fact. However, if there are people who are unhappy
with the implicit asssumption that there are no 'problems' in this part
of Marx's work, it might at some point be useful to revisit these contentions
questions. Otherwise they will begin surfacing in throwaway remarks
of the type 'as is well-known Marx's solution to this is wrong...' which
will just make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

(ii) Perhaps other people do want to discuss them, in which case
I certainly wouldn't like to stop them.

Enough with the apologies. Sometimes it is possible to be too
sensitive. I'd rather everyone just said what they have to say, and for
my part I promise not to be upset by any issues of etiquette. Just
don't say Marx was wrong, all right?.... :-}