[OPE-L:2080] Quiz answer re transformation

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sun, 5 May 1996 06:45:03 -0700

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On May Day [OPE-L:2059], I asked the following question:

PS: (for Alan and others familiar with the literature on the

* Identify the author and title of the book (largely on the
transformation) that the following quote is extracted from:

"The shortcomings of Marx's transformation method concern, first, the
way in which he determines the uniform rate of profit and, secondly,
that he does not convert the value totals of the capital used into
prices of production. These shortcomings, however, can be avoided,
with a problem arising with regard to the fixation of the absolute
level of the prices of production. One may wonder whether in that
case it is permissible to speak of a determinate solution of the
transformation problem. On that subject we argue, that with regard
to the system of prices of production, the same numeraire should be
chosen which underlies, either explicitly or *implicitly* the value
scheme in question; for only then is it permissible to compare
magnitudes from the value scheme with the corresponding magnitudes
of the price scheme. A similar position is taken by Morishima, but
it is questionable whether he sticks to it consistently."

On 5/2, Alan guessed - incorrectly - Paolo Giussani. Also on 5/2, I gave
*many* extra hints (in #2065). As no one has come forward with the
correct answer and as one member wrote me privately that he
was "depressed" since he didn't know the answer, I will take pity on all
of you by disclosing the answer at this time.

The correct answer is:

[ ... drum roll ... ]

[ ... suspense ... ]

@ @
@ W. Van Drimmelen, _Meerwaarde En Winst: Over De Arbeidswaardeleer @
@ Van Marx Als Grondslag Voor Zijn Verklaring Van De Winst_, @
@ Delft, W.D. Meinema B.V., 1976 [ISBN 90 211 40136] @
@ @

Translation of title: _Surplus Value and Profit: On Marx's Labour Theory
of Value as a Basis for the Explanation of Profit_

Length: 296 pages

Originally a dissertation at the Vrije Unversiteit te Amsterdam, it was
published by W.D. Meinema B.V. as a paperback *with an English summary*
(pp. 277-286). The quote excerpted above appears on page 282.


(1) An author's life is not necessarily a happy one

W. Van Drimmelen wrote close to a 300 page book on Marx that dealt
largely with the transformation and related issues, but how many of you
have read -- or even heard of -- his book? This is the price we pay for
our inability to read other languages -- in this case, Dutch.

(2) A translator's life is not necessarily a happy one

Comrade Drimmelen went to the bother of providing a fairly lengthy
English summary. Even if we can't read Dutch, we should be able to read
English, right?

(3) Reading Dutch

No, I can't read Dutch either. It's not at the top of my priority
list at present. I can, however, read English and when I saw the
Drimmelen book for sale in the "misc. foreign language" section of the
world-famous Strand Book Store for $3.50 in 1982 and noticed the English
summary, I gladly purchased the book.

In OPE-L Solidarity,