[OPE-L:2163] What was the question?

Alan Freeman (100042.617@compuserve.com)
Sat, 11 May 1996 06:00:43 -0700

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Paul answers 'no' to the question 'is K/McG a valid interpretation
of Marx's transformation procedure?'. But the question had two parts.

Part 2 said 'If not, why not?'

Answers would be welcome.

Let's not forget what the question was.

Andrew wrote:

> (a) the profit per unit of capital advanced *is* equalized, and this is
> the profit rate that, in Marx's (and the classicists') theory, tends
> to be equalized through competition; and
> (b) that the revenue for capitalist consumption per unit of capital advanced
> is not equalized is no real problem. It would only be a problem if
> capitalists' goal were consumption, which Marx repeatedly, emphatically,
> and clearly rejects.

Allin replied:

"IMO, Andrew's points above do not constitute an answer.
The variable that, as I claim, is _not_ equalized (prior to convergence
of input and output prices) is: (income from sales of output - the outlay
required to continue production on the same scale)/(initial outlay).
And this seems to me to be the variable that ought to be equalized
(according to the logic of this general approach)"

I established that the variable equalised in K/McG is not this variable
but in fact the variable described by 'this general approach', to whit

(income from sales of output - the outlay that *was* required to
produce this output)/(initial outlay)

I then said

"Is this procedure an internally consistent and valid interpretation of
Marx's transformation or not?"

Paul replied:

"This is entirely the wrong question to ask, and so long as one asks this
one remains in the terrain of scholastic ideology. The scientific question
is whether the theory is a correct portrayal of reality."

I then asked what was the right question to ask and Paul replied:

"I don't deny that it is a theory, but that to defend it, you should be
able to do so without reference to Marx."

But, scholastic ideologist that he is, Allin did ask us to defend it with
reference to Marx. And that's what we did. And you accepted our answer.
So again, on what basis do you deny that this is an internally consistent
and valid interpretation of Marx's transformation?