[OPE-L:7021] [OPE-L:515] Re: Time subscripts

JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:54:13 -0500

Alejandro R wrotes in [OPE-L:512]:

> IMHO, the interesting point is whether an "atemporal" reading of
> Marx's theory is plausible.

I guess it depends on how you understand the meaning of "atemporal"
in this context.

*If* you are asking wether an interpretation of Marx that doesn't
have any role for time is plausible, then I don't think it is.

But, I'm not sure if anyone says that time isn't at all important
in Marx. Even if one objects to the use of period analysis, as
Paul C has done previously, there is no question that Marx at various
times used a unit of time called a period. Indeed, it seems to me
that the whole of VII would be incomprehensible without some concept
of time.

That, however, doesn't necessarily make Marx a temporalist since that
designation suggests more that just that time is incorporated into
Marx's theory. I think Andrew K once, on this list, put the issue
in terms of how consistently one incorporates tempral analysis
into one's interpretation (or words to that effect).

So, I don't think that the debate is really about "time matters"
vs. "time doesn't matter" in Marx. Everyone (I think) recognizes
that there is a temporal component in Marx's analsis. When,
however, we discuss more specific questions (such as formulas
for the rate of profit) then the differences in perspective become
more pronounced.

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: sorry for the poor spelling, etc.. This account won't allow me
to edit.