[OPE] The organic composition of capital in New Zealand

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue Jul 28 2009 - 11:52:34 EDT


I am of course very aware that a capital-labour ratio is not the same thing
as the OCC, in fact I have spent a lot of time on OPE-L discussing the
limitations of national accounts categories as proxies for Marxian
variables. I have also taken the trouble to work on various wikipedia
entries where the concept is explained for ordinary mortals, including
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity#Marx_on_productivity and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_composition_of_capital . These articles
are read by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

My point in posting this NZH article is only to illustrate the relevance of
Marx's concept to the economic controversy in New Zealand about productivity
differentials with Australia. It is evident that the economists there are
concerned now precisely with the issue that Marx was concerned with, even if
they can only understand it in terms of production functions, factor
productivity, value-added and the Solow equations criticized by Anwars
Shaikh in his famous "humbug" articles.

Often Marxist discussions are held at a rarified level of abstraction remote
from the real world, and then it is interesting to note that in real life
economists are focusing on the same issue, even if they don't use exactly
the same concepts. It provides an opportunity for Marxian scholars to
provide an alternative insight to the public debate, rather than theorizing
in a void. What use is their theory, if it is only sentimentally cherished
as an icon, taken out of its niche and dusted off once in a while in an
academic office, instead of explaining and interpreting the facts of living

Thank you though for reminding us, in an ideologically staunch way, of the
doctrinal purity, correctness and orthodoxy of the Marxist concept :-)


E-mail message checked by Spyware Doctor (
Database version: 5.10260

ope mailing list
Received on Tue Jul 28 11:55:06 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Jul 31 2009 - 00:00:02 EDT