[OPE-L:1426] Re: Temporality vs simultaneity

riccardo bellofior (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Mon, 11 Mar 1996 06:52:19 -0800

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At 3:52 11-03-1996 -0800, Massimo De Angelis wrote:

> 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.


Either you give reasons internal to the model for the changes you are
speaking of, or on that basis "anything goe"s, as the great Paul Feyerabend
loved to say.

Appendix (WARNING: discard if you hate references to bourgeuois,
right-wing, and frankly boring self-proclamed libertarian economists)

BTW: JUST AS AN ANALOGY, with arguments similar to the one employed by
Massimo, Ludwig von Mises - my old friend 8-) - 'demonstrated' that: (i)
going backwards the value of fiat money must be derived from the value of
commodity money; (ii) money is neutral even in the long run.

He said: in *reality* prices today are linked to prices yesterday, so that
the value of money today is linked to the value of money yesterday. Going
back, we arrive at the first period of the monetary economy: before it
there is the last period of the non monetary economy. Let us say that gold
is the commodity in the last period of the non monetary economy which
becomes money in the first period of the monetary economy. Thus, the value
of money in the first period - and all the others - descend from the value
of gold due to its non monetary, industrial, uses.

He also said: let us imagine a doubling in the quantity of money. In the
process of convergence to the new equilibrium, there will, of course ;-),
be changes in the 'subjective' preferences of the individuals, affecting
money demand. Hence, in the new equilibrium, the data will be changde, and
the prices will *not* double. Dead to the mechanical quantity theory of

Mises, as the TA authors, was against the simultaneous approach of general
equilibrium theory and in favour of sequence, 'real' time, and all that.

Patinkin destroyed (and rigthly so) this kind of arguments.

Now, I AGREE that sequence is essential to the working of a capitalist
monetary economy. But only if you have strong reasons explaining
endogenously change within your system. Otherwise, I would rank myself with
general equilibrium theory.

>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.

No, please, distinguish class struggle as something *internal* to the
capitalist process from exogenous changes, like communism, the
revolutionary version of individuals 'choices', or nuclear war, the
pacifist version of the earthquakes or harvests affecting business cycles.

Ciao Massimo (ricordati la NLR!)

Riccardo Bellofiore e-mail: bellofio@cisi.unito.it
Department of Economics Tel: (39) -35- 277505 (direct)
University of Bergamo (39) -35- 277501 (dept.)
Piazza Rosate, 2 (39) -11- 5819619 (home)
I-24129 Bergamo Fax: (39) -35- 249975