[OPE-L:4519] Re: What are we fighting for?

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 06:54:47 -0800 (PST)

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Alan wrote in [OPE-L:4517]:

> Jerry, the issues you suggest for discussion are very
> interesting but I don't know why you want us to discuss them
> *instead of* the very clear agreement previously reached on
> OPE, from which - though I could be wrong - it seems to that
> Ajit primarily dissents.

I think that a discussion of Fred's perspective on "givens" would be more
enlightening than the discussion of the question "Is Fred a

Beyond that, let's put my suggestion in context. You claimed that Ajit
claimed to agree with Fred even though you knew he does not agree with him
on some fundamental questions. You said that was "not cricket" and that
Ajit should "let fly" against Fred. Well -- correct me if I am mistaken --
but can't you be charged with the same violation of the rules of cricket,
i.e. that you are stating your agreement with Fred on one aspect of his
interpretation while at the same time knowing, but not stating, the
differences in perspective between yourself (and TSS) and Fred?

> (iii)we can now swing the searchlight around and point it at
> the people I always assumed we were fighting. How is it
> that for eighty years the profession got this one wrong?

I thought that the "searchlight" *has* been pointed by Marxists against
the marginalists re interpreting Marx at least as far back as
Hilferding's publication of "Bohm-Bawerk's Criticism of Marx."

> And as Alejandro points out, actually
> on all the questions Fred raises, he has received answers.

What is the methodological significance of "givens" in _Capital_? What are
the implications of that perspective? I don't recall much discussion --
let alone answers -- re those questions.

> If we don't get clarity, there will be much less good humour
> on the list because we will not understand where our
> differences start and end. And these differences will then
> express themselves in personal aggression and flaming.

There is no legitimate justification for "personal aggression" and flaming
on this list. Period.

> in our haste to move on to ever more esoteric and exciting
> differences.

How do you mean "esoteric" in the above context?

In solidarity, Jerry