[OPE-L:4303] Re: Mandel vs. Baran-Sweezy

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 08:25:50 -0800 (PST)

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Ale R. in ope-l 4285

> > However, as far as I remember, Marx strongly suggests that
> > accumulation drives capitalism to CONCENTRATION AND
> > CENTRALISATION. I have never found
> > persuading this (Hilferding, Lenin?) idea of a "competitive
> > capitalism" analysed by Marx and a "monopolistic capitalism" in which
> > e.g. the "law of value" is no longer valid.

Jerry L. in ope-l 4287:

> I think Mandel, for one, would agree with you. I do as well, but ... this
> subject has to be developed further and more concretely. For instance, how
> is this subject analyzed at the level of abstraction of capitalist
> production as a whole? And: how does this subject relate to the analysis
> of foreign trade, the state-form, the world market, etc.? And: how has
> industrial structure developed and changed since Marxs time? And: how
> does Marxs analysis fit in with the reality of industrial pricing in
> most branches of production dominated by oligopolies? Etc..

Ale R comments:

OK, let us say that the issue is "how does the law of value operate in
more concrete situations". However, before to tackle with quite
complex situations like "world market" I need to understand how the
"law of value" operates in "intermediate" situations. For example,
let us suppose a possible "intermediate situation" like a "bad
harvest". How does the law of value operate in such a case? How are
prices formed? What does happen with money? I posted an
interpretation on this (based on a passage of Notes on Wagner) but no-
one seems interested on this (this sounds certainly pathetic!!).
However, if you ask me, e.g. how could we interpret --within Marxist
theory-- the exchange rate peso boliviano/dollar level in 1996 (an
issue of "world market") I firstly need to have some clarity about
how prices are formed in a "bad" or "good" harvest. Are you
already clear about this? I think much of the discussion on
"extending Marx" is, at the same time, a discussion on "understanding
Marx". For example, if you agree with my interpretation of the
passage of the "Notes..." we could interpret the relation between
symbol-money and reserve-money as an exchange rate. In this case "bad
harvest" implies a devaluation of national paper money. This would be
an "intermediate model/hypothesis" to interpret (on the basis of
Marx's theory of value) and to CONNECT monetary and "real" phenomena
in a "national economy" belonging to a "world market".

Alejandro Ramos M.