A reply to OPE-L 4977. I thank Paul Zarembka for another thoughtful post. Paul wrote: "Your answer winds up illustrating my worry of "who decides?" regarding a criterion of "proof"." Well, I'm sorry you're worried, but in a way it is comforting to know someone else is also worried. I am very worried about it, have been for a long time. It seems always to be on my mind. My basic premise is that people are capable of reasoning correctly, and thus capable of agreeing on standards of proof (which is not to say that there's a single, transhistorical standard that is appropriate). When agreement doesn't take place, I construe the breakdown as the result of something interfering with rationality. When it isn't just a question of one or two individuals who resist reasonable standards of proof, but a whole community, I suspect that very deep political-ideological interests are ultimately at work. As you say, the value theory debate is all about politics. Paul wrote: "But when you get to the scheme itself, you yourself have to interpret the role of the first period (you need to engage in " 'stretching out'... Marx's example"). ... The point is that it is NOT in Marx himself. It becomes an interpretation. ... "In other words, you have to go BEYOND what are in the schemes to make your case." Let me try to be more careful in distinguishing what I think is in Marx's text -- what his own work on expanded reproduction proves -- and what is others' doing. In my view, by proving that Ic is not limited by the extent of the market, Marx's own work proves that Dept. I can grow more quickly than Dept. II. Marx seems not to have written that his schema prove this, but I think they do so nonetheless; the proof is there "in Marx himself." Others' interpretation has been required to *see* that the proof was there "in Marx himself." The "stretching out" was my own doing. Paul wrote: "It looks to me that they are charging you with an INTERPRETATION of Marx (which they consider inappropriate) and seeming to offer PROOF to you of the opposite (by using Marx's words)." Well, yes, but I'm a big believer in the possibility of proof (or demonstration, etc.) in that case as well. I'm just trying to get some agreement on *what* will be and won't be, can be and can't be, proved by a discussion of the Part 2 evidence, before we enter into the discussion. They've been very evasive about this, and even seem to be refusing to discuss it. I think they don't want to be pinned down in advance, for much the same reasons that they and others refuse to say under what conditions they'll be willing to concede that they've been wrong. They really don't want to put their opinions to a definitive test. They want a way of wiggling out of having to admit anything if I come up with an alternative interpretation of the passage from Ch. 12. Jerry keeps asserting without the least *proof* that there is no possible interpretation of that passage other than Fred's. I call on him to *prove* that impossibility. I don't think he will be able to do so. If he cannot, I call on him to withdraw his assertion. "I will go one step further. If we scratch far enough below the surface of these discussions, I think we will find politics (which -- to be rather simplistic -- has bourgeois, petty bourgeois and proletarian dimensions). Thus, I notice that the weekend conference has Gary Mongiovi supporting Sraffa and labeling your work "vulgar" (petty bourgeois) in his paper "Vulgar Economy in Marxian Garb: A Critique of Temporal Single System Marxism". I guess the fires are going to burn over that one!" Yes, of course, it is all about politics under the surface or, in my case, on the surface -- like the man said, disdain to conceal our aims, etc. The weird thing is that Mongiovi and his fellow physicalist suppressers at the RRPE make these political denunciations, but ALSO try to deny that their suppression of temporalist research is political! (One reason for this is that the RRPE has an official policy against exclusion on political grounds. So they pretend that their exclusion of temporalist work on "theoretical" and "methodological" grounds isn't political. Talk about empty distinctions.) So in one breath, Mongiovi calls us vulgar economists because we don't believe that value is a veil or that Marx would have written Das Körn instead of Das Kapital if only he had been able to do matrix algebra. In the next breath, Mongiovi plays dumb when he gets to Ted McGlone and I saying that our purpose is to combat an ideological attack on Marx's body of ideas. How, Mongiovi asks oh-so-innocently, does pointing out some "technical errors" the man made constitute an ideological attack? My response is very simple. *Prove* that the "technical errors" are errors. If you can't -- and the physicalist opponents of Marx have been at it for a century without having been able to prove anything of the sort --your exclusion of the man's own work, in its original form, is just plain censorship. Your attempts to appropriate his name for your own motives constitute a hostile takeover. So while I agree that political motivations are behind the whole debate, but that doesn't mean we can't apply objective and rational methods to assess arguments and evidence. It seems to me that people's motives have nothing to do with whether their arguments, theories, etc. are true or false. I don't think you were suggesting the opposite, Paul, but I'm not sure what you *were* suggesting. Ciao, 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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