[OPE-L:2529] Re: Was Lenin a nondualist, supporter of the , single-system vision

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Mon, 17 Jun 1996 06:02:08 -0700 (PDT)

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On Fri, 14 Jun 1996, Paul Cockshott wrote:

> Duncan:
> >Well, it seems to me that Paul C and Allin's research program (of which I
> >am a major fan) would embrace measuring, for example, the rate of surplus
> >value and the turnover rates for capital using actual price data (say from
> >the income statements or balance sheets of firms, or from National Income
> >Data). I was contrasting this with the method of first using embodied
> >labor coefficients derived from I/O tables to convert the accounts to
> >"labor values" and then doing the measurements, as some people have
> >suggested. There is surely a fundamental disagreement about the
> >philosophical and theoretical foundations of the LTV, but curiously
> >enough, it may not affect operational measurement very much.
> >
> Paul C:
> I agree with much of this. We embarked on our empirical work on the
> correlation of prices with labour values to overcome reviewers objections
> to a paper we submited to Capital and Class on changes in the rate of
> profit and exploitation in the UK. We had used national income stats for
> this, but were knocked back by reviewers who objected that surplus value
> was a theoretical category not subject to empirical measurement.
> We then added to the paper a demonstration of the close correlation
> between the prices and values in the UK economy, and with these additions
> it was accepted for publication. So Duncan is right is saying that
> our motivation, like his was to justify use of national income
> statistics as a source.
> Paul Cockshott

This story is a good example of the way in which the embodied labor
coefficient dogma has tended to strangle imaginative and original
empirical work in the Marxist tradition, I think. Maybe the more important
issue here is the convergence of operational procedure.


> wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk
> http://www.cs.strath.ac.uk/CS/Biog/wpc/index.html