# [OPE-L:1422] Re: Temporality vs simultaneity

Massimo De Angelis (M.DeAngelis@uel.ac.uk)
Mon, 11 Mar 1996 03:52:47 -0800

[ show plain text ]

Dear all, Massimo here replying to Bruce

1.

****IF***** we accept Bruce's notion and (consequent assumptions)
of temporality, then Bruce is absolutely right when he says that the
sequential example I used converges to the Simultaneous Solutions. However,
is there any reason to accept Bruce's assumption? Bruce's notion of temporality
(and I am afraid not only his) is not only that after period two comes
period three (obvious enough), but that while there was some qualitative
change between period one and two, no such a change occurs between
two and three. That is, Bruce's notion of temporality is a iterative notion.
I want to stress the fact that THE TA AND SA solutions converge
ONLY if THIS assumption is made, which is at the basis of Bruce's
criticism. Fine, but in principle between period 2 and 3 anything can happen.
If with a temporality approach we want to try to capture history, than ***
in principle*** anything can happen between 2 and 3. History is open.
We may not have a period 3 or 4, a nuclear war may wipe us all out. Or
a revolution may succeed, so period 4 is year one of a communist society.
Or there may be a simple strike wave which leadcapitalist to introduce
technical change with consequent effect on rate of profit etc. etc.

The point I am trying to make is that whatever we are saying is happening
between period 2 and 3 we are FORCING A CLOSURE - for the sake
of the argument - on what would otherwise be an open process. So Bruce's
criticism is based on a particular closure. The fact that nothing changes
between 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 etc. etc. Fine. In THAT case the simultaneous
and sequential results converge. BUT THE POINT IS THAT IN ALL
INFINITE OTHER CASES THEY DON'T. So, because the TA shows that
in each period sum of prices = sum of values & sum of profit = sum of
surplus value; THEN WE ARE NOT CONFINED TO A PARTICULAR
CLOSURE in our argument: The SA is a particular case of TA.

2. To repeat the same thing: I am not "forcing" any "one-period lag"
in evaluating capital. I am simply evaluating it in that period. I refuse the
argument that "the results in period 2 are only a *partial slice* of the full
effects of the change being analysed." In fact, the "full" effect depends on
2 things: 1. passing of time; 2. what happen to the conditions of production
in that time. 2. depends on specific assumptions. Assuming that 2. is defined
by a "nothing happen argument", does not make Bruce or anybody else entitled
to say that THEREFORE they (any simultaneists) have shown the full effect
of sequentialism is = to simultaneous solutions.

3. I was NOT making a case of continuous technical change. I was
simply drawing political implications of an increase in productivity in
a particular time-frame. Any political implications drawn beyo
nd that time frame must be qualified in relation of the assumption we
make for that new period. If you wish to derive political implications by
assuming that NOTHING HAPPEN - like the simultaneist it
erative reading of the sequentialist approach - fine, although I may
question the validity of that assumption.

Massimo De Angelis