[OPE-L:7146] [OPE-L:648] Re: what is the level of abstraction for market prices?

Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:15:24 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 9 Mar 1999, Gerald Levy wrote:

> Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 12:14:18 -0500 (EST)
> From: Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu>
> Reply-To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> Subject: [OPE-L:642] what is the level of abstraction for market prices?
> Fred wrote in [OPE-L:641]:
> > Volume 3 remains at a higher level of abstraction than market prices.
> OK, I'll bite.
> What, from your perspective, are the levels of abstraction *between*
> Volume 3 (a) and an analysis of market prices (b)? How do we get from
> a to b?
> (Of course, anyone else besides Fred is welcomed to take a shot at
> answering the above questions).
> In solidarity, Jerry


These are very good and important questions. I think they are questions
we should be focusing on. I certainly do not at this time have the

Marx mentioned in a number of places in Volume 3 the level of abstraction
of "competition" that lay beyond Capital. I think market prices would
probably be one aspect at this more concrete level of abstraction, along
with non-equilibrium "center-of-gravity" prices (as in Abelardo's Boston
paper), debt-credit relations, perhaps international competition, and
probably a number of other things.

The question of how we move from the more abstract to the more concrete is
even more difficult. Very little work has been done on this and much
needs to be done. But one principle would be that the aggregate
magnitudes are not altered by a consideration of these more concrete
aspects of the distribution of surplus-value. The aggregate magnitudes
are determined at the level of analysis of capital in general and remain
invariant as we move to more concrete levels.

As I remember, this is almost the question with which Jerry started OPEL.
Maybe we are finally approaching the point where we are ready to deal with
this question in earnest.

I look forward to seeing everybody in Boston.