Re: [OPE-L] Truncating Marx's "Capital"

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 04:54:21 EDT

At 21:51 -0400 3-09-2007, Fred Moseley wrote:
>Quoting Riccardo Bellofiore <riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT>:
>>Dear Fred,
>>very quickly, because work has begun again at full speed.
>me too.  a few brief responses below.
>>2. about TSSI my position here is the same as David (Laibman). I quote:
>Please see my response to David in a previous post.

I'll do.

>>As I said, it is methodologically very similar to Mises' rejection of
>>equilibrium theorizing.
>Equilibrium theorizing is not the same as simultaneous determination
>theorizing.  One can have equilibrium (in the sense of equal rates of
>profit and long-run center-of-gravity prices) without simultaneous

I was referring to TSSI, who take their 
"temporalism" as a criticism of equilibrium 
theorizing, if I remember well it is a recurring 
them. Their argument (not yours) seem to me 
similar to Mises'.

>>since for me the real problem in Marx is NOT the transformation, but
>>the argument according to which value exhibits in money only labour.
>>It is here that Marx's argument is problematic.
>What do you think is wrong with Marx’s argument?

you know that, Fred: we talk about that each year 
in our ISMT meetings! And it was also in my reply 
this year in Iowa, and in my sketch on the 
blackboard. Of course, I know you disagree, and 
you know I disagreee with you (though, from 
different interpretations and reconstructions we 
end up with something quantitatively similar). 
But don't ask me "what" is *problematic* in 
Marx(I didn't used the word wrong, I guess). 
Marx's argument, Marx's *explicit* argument at 
least, is inextricably linked to money as a 
commodity. So may we just simply agree to 

>>6. You write:
>>"Previously existing quantity of money capital is taken as given in
>>the determination of the value and prices of production of the output
>>at the end of the circuit"
>>This looks new to me, it seems that you now take that "existing" in a
>>temporal meaning. Now, either we fall back in the discussion
>>clarified by Laibman, or that money magnitudes have to do with
>>elements of constant and variable capital sold at their prices of
>>production, so why it is that relevant?
>It is relevant because of what you quote me saying:  because these
>money magnitudes are taken as given in the determination of the value
>and prices of production of the output.  Other than that, I don’t
>understand your question.

So I repeat myself: those money magnitudes are 
just the *elements* of constant capital, 
multiplied for an exchange rate, actually (at the 
level of analysis of vol III) prices of 
production. Those elements are of course given 
and known at the end of the production period and 
when we have to cdetermine reproduction prices. 
Again, you will answer to me that in vol. Iin 
fact exchange ratios are already prices of 
production, but it cannot be said so because 
prices of production are not already 
theoretically explained, and that this is 
possible only starting from those macro monetary 
magnitudes taken as given, etc. I find this 
circular. You find it a good method. We know 
there is textual evidence on both sides. So, 
again, we may agree to disagree, and go on with 
our reading of Marx without (what I fear in the 
end is) a sterile battle on the *best* 

>>That money magnitudes are simultaneously given with prices anyhow.
>What to you mean by “simultaneously given”?  The two logical options
>that we have been discussing are:  (1) simultaneous determination (from
>given physical quantities), and (2) sequential determination (from
>given money quantities, plus labor-time quantities and the MELT).  Do
>you mean “simultaneously determined”?

Again, you know, or you should know: I disagree 
with the 2. And gto accept Marx's apparently 
similar argument on this one has to accept that 
the MELT is given by barter at the point of entry 
of gold in general exchange, that the assumption 
that labor time expended in production strictly 
speaking is already SNLT, that the argument on 
money of the first 3 chapters is not essentially 
to be modified as soon as money capital enters 
gthe scene, etc. All point of our unending 
discussions in ISMT since 1996.

>>7. I guess Ronchon is Rochon. May you give me the reference?
>I will look up the references and send them to you as soon as I can.


This, for the time being. The circuit stuff 
(Graziani, and myself) may be later on (but I 
would not bet on it, looking at my agenda!)


Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
Università di Bergamo
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
direct    +39-035-2052545
fax:      +39 035 2052549

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