Re: [OPE-L] dynamic theories and the "drive to formalize"

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun Sep 09 2007 - 11:47:29 EDT

> I think that Marx's theory in Capital is essentially dynamic. Marx did
> not think in terms of simultaneous equations, although in places he
> almost did.

Hi Ian W:

Yes, but he didn't think in terms of difference or differential equations
in  _Capital_ either.

> I also think
> that when we have a complete, mathematical and dynamic interpretation
> of Marx's theory of the laws of motion of capitalism we will find that
> there are important and essential relations between the logical method
> of simultaneous and sequential determination.

He was more concerned with explaining a complex dynamic process in which
there are tendencies and counter-tendencies and *lots and lots* of
variables (and hence uncertain outcomes). Although he hinted that it might
be possible (can't recall the reference off-hand) it's unclear whether he
thought that the law(s) of motion could be formally presented in a
mathematical model.  The "drive to formalize" (to coin an exprssion) is a
primarily 20th Century development in economic thought. The real question
here is whether the theory can be truncated without doing an injustice to
grasping the complexities of the real subject matter. Instead of
truncating, I think what's needed is expansion into matters essential to
comprehending the subject matter such as classes, the state, foreign
trade, and the world market.

In solidarity, Jerry

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