[OPE-L:1837] Re: the money supply

Subject: [OPE-L:1837] Re: the money supply
From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Sat Dec 04 1999 - 22:02:13 EST

RE Claus's [OPE-L:1831]:

> Your above statement seems to assume =
> that the *facts* are something natural and incontrovertible, that there =
> are *facts* whose meaning is independent from theory. This remains a =
> controversial issue in present day epistemological debate. In opposition =
> to this view, Marx indicated that the crude facts form a chaotic =
> concrete. The understanding of the facts requires that the chaotic =
> concrete be converted into "a reproduction of the concrete by way of =
> thought". But in order to do this it is necessary first "to move =
> analytically towards ever more simple concepts of the whole", and then =
> retrace the journey towards the concrete again, which Marx did, in the =
> case of money, providing a complete theoretical representation of the =
> role of money in the capitalist economy. In effect Marx=92s theory shows =
> the sphere of monetary phenomena in capitalism as "a rich totality of =
> many determinations and relations". Thus, Marx=92s theory of money does =
> not rely on the mere morphology of the crude facts, hence the change in =
> the immediately perceptible shape of one fact or the other is not enough =
> to judge the consistency of his theory.=20

Of course, facts aren't "natural", but an attempt to discover facts
*logically precedes* an attempt to develop and present a theory in which
the meaning of these facts, and the relationship of a given set of facts
to the whole, can be comprehended. A "crude" and "chaotic" investigation
into the empirical concrete thus is a *pre-condition* for the development
of a theory that attempts to grasp that subject.

In this case, we are in the first instance discussing a *very concrete*
question concerning *recent (post-1971) history*. The place to *begin*
such a discussion is not with abstract theory (or what Uno called "basic
theory"), but with a discussion of that very concrete experience.

Is it unreasonable to ask that before we discuss how we interpret those
developments from the perspective of Marx's *or any other* theory, we
first attempt to see if we can agree on a common version of the
historical-empirical-factual record?

In solidarity, Jerry

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