Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: Pen-L Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Sat Apr 07 2007 - 10:50:05 EDT


Quoting Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU>:

> 2. Given Marx's emphasis on regular changes in prices of production, he
> would not have thought that the prices of production which governed the
> prices of the inputs could have been the same as the prices of production
> which he derives for the outputs. So even if one thinks Marx left the
> inputs in the form of values or simple prices, there is no evidence that
> he was calling for a vector of equilibrium prices in the specific sense of
> same prices for the inputs and outputs. Indeed the chapter as a whole
> indicates that Marx would have rejected the equilibrium idea that prices
> of production do not change interperiodically. To judge Marx on the
> neoclassical equilibrium terrain is to impose foreign standards on him,
> not to judge him on his own terms. Marx cannot be said to have called for
> the neoclassical equilibrium test which he then fails. But that is how it
> is presented in almost every account of Marxian economics. Take Heinz
> Kurz's entry on value in The Radical Political Economy entry, ed. by
> Malcolm Saywer as just one of countless examples. Some radical political
> economy! Though that point of view is vociferously defended on this list;
> unfortunately I have been disallowed with the AC's approval from replying
> directly.

Hi Rakesh,

Which passages in particular in Chapter 9 do you think indicate that
Marx was assuming continuous changes in values in each industry, period
after period?

It seems to me that in these few pages at the end of Chapter 9 Marx is
making the theoretical point that, even though prices of production are
not proportional to values, prices of production are nonetheless
ultimately determined by values, and that changes in prices of
production are ultimately caused by changes in values, either in the
given industry or in industries that produce means of production for
this industry.  I donít see any suggestion that he is assuming that
such changes of values happen continuously, period after period, in
each industry.

Thanks.

Comradely,
Fred


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