[OPE-L] why does the debate on the "transformation problem" continue?

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun Mar 25 2007 - 17:58:42 EDT

> Despite this the debate continues, why?

[warning:  a grumpy, and partially -- but _only_ partially -- 
tongue-in-cheek reply follows]

Hi Paul C:

Good question.   Maybe the debate on the TP is  for Marxists
the modern equivalent of debates about the quantity of angels
who can reside on a point of a needle?


Or, maybe it's --  as you say -- inertia: it's what Marxists feel
comfortable discussing?

Or, it's also a right of passage perhaps for Marxist political economists?
Only after one discusses the TP can someone be said to belong 
to the sorority of Marxian economists.

Or, maybe it's just an "immunizing strategy" so that one doesn't have to 
move out of Marx's Cradle, into the sunshine and darkness  of the 21st 
Century,  and consider for ourselves the most burning political-economic
questions of today?

There is also a delicious irony:  _most_ frequently it is the works of 
those who say that the problem does _not_ exist (e.g. Shaikh,
Dumenil-Levy-Foley, Kliman-McGlone, Cockshott-Cottrell, et al)
who are responsible for keeping the debate alive!   If it wasn't
for the _Marxists_ who wish to continue to debate the TP 
then the topic would disappear.  It is an _obsession_ and hence
has a dynamic (no pun intended) all its own which defies logic
and 'internal consistency'.  [Thus, by my writing this message, I
am being internally inconsistent since to complain about discussions
on the TP only reproduces them.  It's like cutting off a starfish in two:
instead of killing the animal it only means  that 2 will grow where once 
there was one.]

Hence _you_ ask us to consider _your_ position -- for why
no 'problem' exists.  Yet, if we were to do that (which, of course,
we might very well do)  then we would continue the debate
on the TP. And so on it goes.  

Isn't it manifestly obvious after 130 years that there will NEVER
be agreement on ANY one position on the TP?  

In solidarity, Jerry

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