I appreciated Paul Zarembka's thoughtful post, OPE-L 4962. He wrote: "Andrew once asked me the same question on another topic, and I told him I didn't know the answer and I still don't; I'm hoping to learn if there a way to answer such a question." I now see the resemblance between the question I asked Fred and the question I asked Paul. I hadn't before, because they are somewhat different questions, with somewhat different motivations. The question I asked Paul concerned the verification/ falsification of a theory rather than of an interpretation. And unlike the question I posed to Fred (and other physicalists), I do not (yet) have an answer of mine own to the question I posed to Paul. I'm writing this post to see if anyone might be able to help formulate an answer. The issue is whether the growth of Dept. I can outstrip the growth of Dept. II, i.e., overcome the supposed "limits" set by demand for consumer goods. It was obvious to Luxemburg and it is obvious to Paul that the answer is "no." It is obvious to me and to others that the answer is "yes." As somewhat put it at the AHE conference last year (where I posed my question to Paul), capitalism *is* production for production's sake. In fact, I consider the schemes of expanded reproduction in _Capital_ II as *proof* that the answer is "yes." But neither Luxemburg nor Paul accept the proof. So my motivation in posing my question to Paul is to move beyond, to avoid rehashing, the debates of the past. Thus my question was: how would you test this issue? What would constitute proof, one way or the other? (I note that the issue does not seem to me to be subject to empirical testing, since it concerns possibility ["can"] rather than actuality ["does"].) I'm afraid I can't think of a proof other than the kind that Marx's schema provide. Can anyone help? (To clarify a point that came up before: Growth of Dept. I can outstrip that of Dept. II to a limited extent only when technology and real wages are not changing, since Dept. II must be big enough to feed both Depts.' workers. If, to the contrary, Dept. I *continually* grows faster than Dept. II, then, in the long run, Dept. I's demand for Dept. II's output must exceed the supply. If, however, continuous labor-saving technological change occurs, this can depress Dept. I's demand for Dept. II's output to an extent sufficient to allow the growth rate of Dept. I permanently to exceed that of Dept. II.) Paul also wrote: "I notice that Fred is continuing to put Andrew on the spot ...." I don't feel that Fred is putting me on the spot. He seems to be trying to do so, to be sure, but, as I've noted, there's no point in discussing the evidence from Part 2 if a satisfactory alternative interpretation will not satisfy him. He has indicated that it will not satisfy him. There's also the prior issue of Fred's invention, out of thin air, of an evil twin profit rate. I say this is prior because the *significance* of the Part 2 material depends on it. If we were to accept Fred's evil twin profit rate argument, which of course we cannot, then an unsuccessful alternative interpretation of the Part 2 evidence by me would suggest that *the TSSI contradicts Marx's theory*. If, however, we all acknowledge, as we all should, that Fred's interpretation fails because there's no evidence for the evil twin profit rate, and because his interpretation contradicts Marx's theory once we repudiate Fred's blatant immunizing strategy, then an unsuccessful alternative interpretation of the Part 2 evidence by me would suggest that *Marx's theory itself is self-contradictory*. There seems to me to be no point in entering into a discussion of the Part 2 evidence unless and until this is settled. Why discuss something if the implications of the different possible outcomes aren't clear and agreed-upon in advance? What good would discussion do? Andrew ("Drewk") Kliman Dept. of Social Sciences Pace University Pleasantville, NY 10570 USA phone: (914) 773-3968 fax: (914) 773-3951 Home: 60 W. 76th St. #4E New York, NY 10023 USA "The practice of philosophy is itself theoretical. It is the critique that measures the individual existence by the essence, the particular reality by the Idea."
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