(OPE-L) Re: explaining transitions among modes of production

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Oct 02 2004 - 17:14:03 EDT

Paul C,

I thought that we could advance the discussion if you
could select a single social formation and show us how
you would calculate the transition arc and probability
for capitalism => socialism over a reasonably long time
period.  Your responded by suggesting that this "goes
well beyond what historical materialism is currently capable

OK, then how would you calculate the probability of
China/Japan/Holland/North Italy (or any combination of 4
or more international/intercontinental comparisons that
you choose) making the transition from capitalism to
socialism over the next 50 years?

If I understood what you wrote previously (on Thursday)
such a calculation is possible and does not go beyond
what historical materialism is capable of.

In solidarity, Jerry

Excerpts from Paul's post on Thursday:

 It is only when one starts looking
at international/intercontinental comparisons that one
can start thinking of it in stochastic terms - the probability
of China/Japan/Holland/North Italy undergoing a transition etc.

So I think that if we are to progress the discussion we
should focus on particular transitions arcs on the graph -
and in view of their conjunctural relevance - I suggest we
focus on the arcs below:

capitalism => socialism
socialism  => capitalism
socialism  => communism
communism  => socialism
capitalism => communism
communism  => capitalism

I think that we can assign to all of these arcs some
non zero probability flux, but some are obviously more
probable than others, and we should have some theory
of what makes one arc more probable than another.

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