[OPE-L:4838] Re: Binary question/Dialectical answer

Tue, 22 Apr 1997 09:52:10 -0700 (PDT)

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Dear David and ope-l comrades:

Many thanks for your dialectical answer. Just now (and I think for a
week) I do not have time for commenting your post.

I only want to make some "personal" points:

a) "Hidden agenda". Sorry if my "binary" question seems to hide some
"agenda" for you. Simply I didnt have time to argue more. In any
case, you know my "agenda" because we shared the same panel in the
IWGVT Conf. Then I presented "4 questions" that I am trying to
answer. This would be "my agenda" My paper for that Conf. is also a
drafting of these problems.

A brief "drop" re my "agenda": I would want to make sense -- in
formal terms -- of the famous passage in Vol I, Ch. 1, "two coats
will clothe two men, one coat will only clothe one man..." I think
this passage is a clear evidence about the fact that Marx conceives
commodity production as having a "contradictory movement" and thus
that we cannot formalize his proposal regarding profit rate only by
means of the use-value-side of commodities.

I think that what is interesting in his theory is precisely this
contradictory relationship between value and use value and, of
course, this "vision" would be taken into account if we want to
formalize his proposal concerning the profit rate.

To put this in plain terms: I feel that if we --in our attempt to
formalize Marx's theory-- calculate the profit rate profit rate by
means of the "eigenvalue" (as suggested by Tugan) the "contradictory
movement" of commodity production **is missing**. Therefore, this
wouldnt be a faithful representation of what Marx is trying to say.

Of course, Marx could be wrong and his proposal could be an incorrect
depiction of capitalist economy. So, perhaps, Tugan is correct and a
continuous increasing in material wealth implies also a continuous
increasing of *capitalist wealth*. This would mean that Tugan's theory
is correct and Marx's theory is wrong. **BUT I have problems to
present Tugan's theory as Marx's.** So I would want to have, first of
all, a faithful formalization of what Marx proposes.

b) "Binary answer". I have some differences with you. I think we
can arrive to some results regarding the "formalization" of Marx's
text in the sense that we can discard procedures that make no sense
of his statements.

Of course, I agree that in **understanding capitalist economy**
"binary answers" are not viable.

c) Thanks again! I think your post is a fruitful proposal to discuss.


Alejandro R.