[OPE-L:2838] Re: "basic concepts and method" & alterntive conceptions of the world market

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 23 Aug 1996 03:14:11 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

Paul C in [OPE-L:2837] wrote:

> I am suggesting that the method of analysis used in Capital should
> be used, by starting out with an analysis at the level of commodity
> production in general, and value as it pertains to commodity production,
> but with the additional factor of geographical separation of regions,
> with different conditons of production introduced.
> At this stage, one should assume as Capital I does, the use of a commodity
> money rather than a system of credit payments, and one should not initially
> assume capitalist relations of production.

I see no harm in *initially* examining the case of a system of commodity
money rather than credit-money when examining trade. This is not for
historical reasons (i.e. commodity money proceeds credit-money), but for
logical reasons (in the sense that it would be preferable to examine the
"simple" case of commodity money before examining how credit-money
modifies trade).

For a similar reason, I think that it might be better logically to *first*
consider trade among capitalist nations before examining trade among
countries with capitalist and non-capitalist relations of production.
If one wanted to examine a conjunctural or historical question such as the
trade relation between a specific country with capitalist relations and
one in which capitalist relations are not dominant, then I think Paul's
ordering might be appropriate. If, however, one wants to develop a
*theory* of trade under capitalism, then one would be better off first
assuming capitalist relations before then seeing how trade is modified by
non-capitalist relations. I would be interested in hearing what others
think about the methodological advantages and disadvantages for
proceeding in either manner.

In OPE-L Solidarity,