[OPE-L:3439] Re: assumptions, assumptions, assumptions

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 18:17:30 -0700 (PDT)

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John wrote in [OPE-L:3435]:

> I have seen no one make any "claims" about the category of
> wage-labour as they assume v to be very,very,very small or
> gone one step further and said v=0.

See OPE-L #s 3370, 3386, 3397, 3398.

> My reaction to all
> the talk about this assumption is -- "So what?" That is,
> the focus of the discussion has been the valuation of
> constant capital.

The valuation of *what*? See #3340. Do you view supervisory/management
labor, prisons, cops, national guard, etc. as c? If so, how would you
value this form of c? It would seem to me that before we go trying to
value c, we should have some idea of what c is.

Another way of answering "So what?" is that the debates on this thread are
in large part related to our conceptions of the methodology that Marx
used. For instance, there has been the claim that the concept of "levels of
abstraction" is not appropriate for interpreting Marx. This sounds like a
pretty important question to me. Don't you agree?

> Here, perhaps, we see that it may
> be useful to consider v > 0; but I, for one, learned a
> lot when we assumed it was very, very small or, indeed, when
> it was assumed to be negligible or zero itself.

What did you learn? That is not a rhetorical question. I am an avid OPE-L
reader and I carefully read and print-out (!) all posts. I saw *much*
striving for clarity ... but *what exactly* has been clarified?

> Still searching for clarity,

Me too.

In Solidarity,