[OPE-L:2993] Re: Okishio and mathematical Economics

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Mon, 9 Sep 1996 05:48:39 -0700 (PDT)

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A few comments on Steve's ope-l 2992.

With respect to the equal-rate-of-profit condition, Steve wrote:
"One can't fault Marx for closing his system with a commonly held assumption
at the time ...."

Well, in certain limited contexts, Marx did invoke a uniform profit rate (as
an assumption, not a fact). But what system did he ever close with this
assumption? This phrase makes it seem far more necessary to his conclusions
than I actually think it is (which is not at all).

Then Steve wrote:
"That brings me to Andrew's and Paul's concerns. Paul argued essentially that
profit maximizing behavior could be the evolutionary stable strategy and in a
similar vein Andrew argued that you wouldn't necessarily need a
prime mover."

I read the response to Paul, but found none that addressed my objections.
Especially, it is still unclear to me whether Steve is arguing descriptively
or prescriptively.

Steve then agrees with Bruce's comment:
"I think that Duncan's intuition is absolutely correct--to influence those
who've been persuaded by Okishio will require something with as much
equilibrium and stationarity assumed as possible."

But who is trying to influence those who've been persuaded by Okishio?
Certainly not I. I'm trying to get them (a) to concede that the theorem has
been refuted, (b) to concede that no logical flaw in Marx's law of the FRP
has been found, and (c) to set the historical record straight by publicly
retracting the false allegations of Marx's internal inconsistency or logical
error on this issue.

If this is accomplished, critics of Marx will remain critics of Marx. Those
who have rejected, implicitly or explicitly, the determination of value by
labor-time will continue to do so. But they will have lost an important
weapon used either to silence and marginalize those who wish to learn from and
develop Marx's work, as he wrote it, or to justify theoretical differences
from Marx as a correction or completion of his work. In addition to the
various other Marxisms around, one has been discredited and made disreputable
even among Marxists, but I want it to be able to live and develop again ---
*Marx's* Marxism.

Andrew Kliman