[OPE-L:3965] Re: Critiquing exploitation

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Fri, 10 Jan 1997 15:49:01 -0800 (PST)

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In ope-l 3963, Gil wrote: "to my (and many others') reading there really are
errors in Marx's analysis in Capital, at least by standards of meaning and
logic employed by most people. ...

"I think that given how most people use language and logic, there *are* errors
in Marx's account of value and exploitation in _Capital_. Perhaps there is
another approach to language and logic which dissolves these errors ...."

I am proud to say that I do indeed have a higher standard of what constitutes
a proof of logical inconsistency than do the professional Marx-bashers. Do
you really think, Gil, that Bortkiewicz "proved," as he claimed to have done,
that Marx's account of the value/production price transformation involved a
self-contradiction? Is it up to the standard of, say, Debreu's proof of the
existence of a competitive general equilibrium?

For Gil, "the substantive bottom [is], whether or not there are errors in the
details of Marx's argument in _Capital_, we now know there is a logically
coherent sense in which capitalist profit and interest can be said to
represent the exploitation (understood as systemic coercion based on class
inequalities) of workers."

For me, the substantive bottom line is that Marx's Humanist philosophy of
revolution-in-permanence is crucial if we are ever to reach a society of
freely associated individuals, and that blather about nonexistent "errors" and
"incompleteness" serves to hinder this effort, because Marx's own Marxism gets
discredited and/or distorted and because people who could be doing important
work spend their time patching up nonexistent holes.

Awaiting Gil's reply on other matters,

Andrew Kliman