[OPE-L:2182] Re: Science and Ideology

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Mon, 13 May 1996 10:46:09 -0700

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In ope-l 2135, Paul C. wrote

"by 'ideology' I imply that political requirements dictate what answers
must be arrived at before the investigation begins - marx must be proved
consistent in his handling of the transformation problem vis a vis critics
even if we have to repudiate much of his writings to prove it."

As a characterization of the TSS interpretation, which it was, this is
total hogwash.

It is offensive and insulting which, as Paul notes, it was meant to be.

According to *this* (peculiar) definition of "ideology," my work is

For the record: my work on the transformation began by exploring
Bortkiewicz's alleged "proof" that input and output prices must be equal
for balanced reproduction. I wanted to see check for myself whether
this was right instead of relying on authority (as almost everyone
else had). I found that Bortkiewicz was dead wrong. To date, no one
has refuted Ted's and my refutation of this point, and I'm not holding
my breath. That's how the investigation began; not with answers, but
with questions.

My work on the Okishio theorem began when we noted that the profit
rate of of transformation illustration does not remain the same even
though technology and real wages (in that particular illustration)
remained constant. So I suspected then that there was a substantive
differentce between Marx's value theory and simultaneism regarding the
determination of the profit rate. Critics at that time responded that
I need to look at the mutatis mutandis effects. So I began with the
question--what are the mutatis mutandis effects of technical change,
is the Okishio theorem right? I found that it *was* right if we
consider technical change as a one-time-only perturbation, but not
otherwise, given my understanding of Marx's value theory.

What Paul implies, but is also dead wrong, is that I concocted an
interpretation in order to get the results right. No way. I was
NEVER a simultaneist. I was already reding Marx's _Capital_ as an
account of real processes in real time. And when I really sat down
an studied the passages in which Marx supposedly admits his "error"
in not "transforming" input values, it was obvious that he was instead
cautioning readers not to conflate the value of the capital with the
value of means of production.

There's nothing obvious or natural about VILE, except to the already

Finally, Paul's incessant claims about "science" are at best disingenuous.
His project is to develop "the" "labor theory of value" for
"socialist" planning. Usefulness (FOR WHOM?), not truth, of the
historical record or anything else, is his real guide. If this is not
an ideological project, then Paul should be able to provide an account
of why he's doing what he's doing ENTIRELY couched in terms of a
search for truth.

Andrew Kliman