Re: (OPE-L) Ajit's paper

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 12:24:02 EDT

At 5:42 AM -0700 6/2/04, ajit sinha wrote:
>--- Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>>  At 5:56 AM -0700 6/1/04, ajit sinha wrote:
>>  >--- Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>>  >>  At 3:12 AM -0700 6/1/04, ajit sinha wrote:
>>  >>  >Rakesh, I have no idea what is this about. Can
>>  we
>>  >>  >stick to the issues we are debating? Cheers,
>>  ajit
>>  >>  >sinha
>>  >>
>>  >>  Out of his debate with Malthus Ricardo was led
>>  to
>>  >>  search for an
>>  >>  invariable measure of value, no? Sraffa claimed
>>  to
>>  >>  have devised just
>>  >>  that in the standard commodity, no? So why did
>>  >>  Malthus prompt Ricardo
>>  >>  to search for an invariable measure of value?
>>  >>  Why--or on what exact
>>  >>  assumptions--can (as you put it in the Westra
>>  and
>>  >>  Zuege volume) "the
>>  >>  effect on the money commodity of a change in
>>  wages
>>  >>  imply that even if
>>  >>  the net output has been kept constant in
>>  physical
>>  >>  terms a change in
>>  >>  its distribution between wages and profits could
>>  >>  very well change its
>>  >>  size when measured in... money terms"?
>>  >>
>>  >>  Rakesh
>>  >______________
>>  >As I said, "money commodity". But this is not the
>>  >issue we are discussing here. Let's keep to the
>>  issue.
>>  >Cheers, ajit sinha
>>  Ajit, this won't do.
>Yes, Rakesh! It will have to do.


But it doesn't.  Surely an expert such as yourself should be able to
point without any difficulty to the exact incoherency or mistake that
I made in my post which you could not even get yourself to reproduce,
much less parse. Surely a real expert wouldn't descend into the level
of play-yard taunting if he had adequate answers. But you don't.

It must be very disheartening not to enjoy easy superiority in your
field of expertise over someone who has read on his own the
respective and contesting contributions of Sinha and Naples, and came
to his own conclusions which are much closer to Naples', Moseley's
and Peach's than yours.

As for your infinite regression criticism, made in reply to Ian,
surely someone who knew the literature would know that Freeman and
Carchedi have already spoken to it, and would have thus taken that
into account in your reply.

Now if you want to tell for my own good what you think is incoherent
in Marx's value theory, just state it. And state it clearly. Or give
me the page numbers in one of your own pieces where you have stated
it.  And I shall either respond myself or tell you where in the
literature a response has been formulated.

>  To be very frank with
>you, most of the stuff you write on very basic issues
>is incoherent.

Incoherent is not synomous with that which I do not agree.

>  Political economy is not your area of
>specialization is clear as day light to all.

Yes, I endeavor to understand not political economy but the critique
of political economy. And I don't think your understanding of Marx is
very good. For example you have totally mis understood the first part
of Capital--note that you have never answered my question of what we
are to make of Marx's analysis of the peculiarities of the equivalent
form or "ideal genesis" of the money form. If you can't answer that,
how can you claim to understand the so called problematic of part I.
Althusser led you astray.  Godelier did not follow Althusser here.
While even Lipietz recognized that Althusser was wrong, you
nonetheless stuck with the mis interpretation.

And on another one of your arguments: If you want to restate your
criticism of how Marx theorizes labor power as a commodity, I shall
show here that you have mis read Marx on this count too.

You may have mastery over Sraffa in relation to GET, but I don't
think your understanding of Marx is  very profound. It's probably the
first that has led to the second.

>This is
>not to say that you should not debate such issues, but
>please don't pretend to be all knowing on these

Why don't you just pretend to have an answer to what I wrote.

>  Right now I neither have time nor
>inclination to debate you on complicated issues
>regarding Malthus, Ricardo, Sraffa and the problem of
>'invariable measure of value'.

In other words, you don't have an answer to the challenge Naples made
long ago, and I just elaborated. You are blindsided by what I am
saying only because you had never thought through what Naples had
already said. You think what I am saying comes from the world of non
expertise only because you ignore or don't try to understand experts
with whom you don't agree.  In fact I don't think you ever cite her
in your own work on value. At least you have said nothing substantive
about her work. She has also clarified her position on this list; I
forwarded some of her latest reflections.

>  So please stick to Marx
>and his concept of value. And I would appreciate if
>you gave me straightforward answers to straightforward

I have answered your questions. How is abstract labor time measured:
it cannot be measured directly but in money though monetary
measurement tends to represent it. How do I know that prices tend to
be above value in high OCC branches and vice versa in low OCC
branches. Because such a theory of how prices are formed and value is
distributed leads to novel predictions about how low OCC branches can
bolster the average rate of profit, and those predictions have been
validated in terms of the importance of imperial trade (see
Grossmann) and more recently in terms of Edward Wolff's data about
the effects on the average profit rate of new low OCC branches in US
industry. Of course Cockshott and Cotterrell dispute that there is a
tendency for the formation of an average profit rate, but they have
attempted to validate value theory in another way. I also mentioned
Shaikh's research on the success of value theory in explaining
inter-temporal changes in exchange ratios. So there are many ways in
which one can attempt to validate value theory once it is accepted as
coherent and logical. But you are not interested in the empirics--at
least not in your published writing. You are just interested in the
same old logical problems--transformation problem, invariable measure
of value, dated labor.

>  I'm not interested in learning what a great
>champion of Marxism you are and how anti-Marxist we
>all are. That is not the issue. What I want to expose
>to you, for your own good, is that your understanding
>of Marx's concept of value is incoherent.

Again state clearly what you think the incoherence is.


>  The sooner
>you realize this the better it will be for whatever
>intellectual endeavor you are using it for. Cheers,
>ajit sinha
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Friends.  Fun.  Try the all-new Yahoo! Messenger.

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