[OPE-L:327] RE: working through CAPITAL

Michael A. Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Tue, 24 Oct 1995 22:48:48 -0700

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In message Sun, 22 Oct 1995 10:28:10 -0700,
"ECUSERS" <ECBURKE@scifac.indstate.edu> writes:

> In response to Michael Lebowitz's query about the consistency of
> the proposed critique of political economy approach with working
> through CAPITAL, I would say they're quite consistent if we allow for
> continued brainstorming (especially of a topical nature) as part of
> the process.

I think that would be a great way to proceed. Sounds almost like
Lenin's description of CAPITAL: "Testing by facts or by practice
respectively, is to be found here in *each* step of the analysis."

> Now I have a question: what do you have in mind in
> terms of 'working through CAPITAL': chapter-by-chapter, section-by-
> section, page-by-page, or what? We could get a thread started (and
> people could take off from it including in directions oriented toward
> empirically testable hypotheses, theoretical explanations of
> empirically established 'stylized facts' etc. as well as more
> historical-topical questions) once we decide how large the chunks of
> CAPITAL are that we are considering at any one time. Paul Burkett

Well, I have no certain formula here. I am inclined to set aside a month
to look at Part I of Vol I. (I think we should treat those first 3 chapters
together.) We should ask specifically what people see as problems or
unanswered questions there and let ourselves be guided by what follows. (I
suspect that, given the heterogenous group that we are, we'll want longer on
this particular section.) As a general rule, at or before the closure point,
we should explore whether there is a consensus as to whether the cutoff
should be extended (in some cases this will be self-evident). If most feel
it is time to move on, but a few want to continue a dialogue, we can ask them
effectively to form a subgroup and to continue this discussion on OPE in the
knowledge that the rest of us will be proceeding to explore the later
Maybe one month is entirely unrealistic for Part I, but I think we'll
get better at judging as we go along. The first question, though, is whether
this is how people want to proceed (remember, there are alternatives which
have been proposed), what they see as the initial section to consider and
how long a period should be set aside.(Eg., perhaps 2 months is more
realistic for Part I in order to allow time for the kinds of explorations
that Paul B mentions-- I keep thinking of points which may be relevant to
raise here.)
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
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e-mail: mlebowit@sfu.ca