From: Allin Cottrell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Sep 21 2004 - 21:55:51 EDT
On Tue, 21 Sep 2004, ajit sinha wrote: >> This seems to me an egregious confusion of the >> thought object with the >> real object. Ricardo articulated a theory of the >> effects of market >> competition: he did not invent such competition. > ____________________ > Allin, the idea that an idea does not come into being > before the material conditions for it is ready is an > aspect of historical materialism; and Marx uses it to > suggest that why Aristotle could not come up with a > theory of value in a slave society. There may be something in Marx's observation on Aristotle. But so far as Smith vs Ricardo is concerned, it seems to me you are proposing a very radical point of view, that would need a lot of supporting argument. That is, the "standard" Marxian/Ricardian view is that Smith's "adding up of incomes" theory of value is incoherent, and Ricardo's is a definite scientific advance -- an advance in understanding what was going on at the time, and what had been going on for some lengthy history. Do you really want to argue that Smith's theory was correct for economies prior to the 19th century? >> I would require a lot of historical evidence before >> I concluded that >> people prior to the 19th century were perfectly >> happy with "customary" >> returns and did not seek out opportunities for >> betterment, at least >> over the long periods that Paul was talking about. > ______________ > I don't remember the context of Paul's post. I'm only > reacting to what I had said... The context of Paul's post was an interesting and, so far as I know, original observation about pre-capitalist societies. That is, supposing that calculation of economic advantage may have been less sharp in such societies, and supposing that mobility of labour may have been less (neither of which propositions can be taken for granted as abolute historical fact), nonetheless the relatively slow pace of technological change prior to capitalism means that the gravitation of price towards labour value would have much longer periods to work itself out, compared with modern society where technological "disturbances" to this process are endemic. Don't be so quick to dismiss interesting ideas! Allin.
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