[OPE-L:4798] Re: Parsimony

Michael Williams (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Tue, 15 Apr 1997 15:34:48 -0700 (PDT)

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Hi Cockshott,

Glad to see we are on second name terms at last.
You describe clearly with your usual masterly use of redundant technical
terms much of the difference between us. I for the life of me cannot see
how labour times are a 'cause' of prices. On the other hand my use of
Value is closely related to the everyday use of related terms -e*valu*ate,
eg - and it captures the notion I have of Value, which is concerned with
the epochally specific systemic mode by which human creative power is
socially evaluated. I wouldn't use the term 'cause' for this, nor would I
deny that abstract socially necessary labour provides a macro constraint on
total potential value.

I sense (perhaps wrongly) some impatience in your posts on this topic. It
is clear that we are on opposite sides of a number of related divisions:
Hegelian Humanist Marxism vs Scientific Positivist Marxism; Critique of
economics vs Marxist economics; naturalism vs hermeneutics (perhaps),
labour value theory of relative prices vs 'value-form theory of labour
allocation' etc, etc. Short of a Pauline conversion on one side or the
other, it seems unlikely that we can resolve our differences. Nevertheless,
I do not see 'your' side as in some sense wrong, let alone nonsensical. I
certainly admire your erudition and historical knowledge. And discussing
with you helps me to sharpen up my ideas. I just find your position, at the
moment, rationally unsustainable, as well as being less useful for the
political tasks I wish to pursue.

I am afraid that the pace of work is building up again, so I may be unable
to continue our trialogue at the same level of intensity. Perhaps I will
try to outline the value-form position in a more reflective way, when I
get the time.

Comradely greetings,
Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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