File spoon-archives/marxism-thaxis.archive/marxism-thaxis_1996/96-10-29.043, message 69


Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996 00:21:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: M-TH: value theory (fwd)


On Sat, 26 Oct 1996, Spoon Collective wrote:

> 
>      Another approach to this is not to claim that the LTOV 
> itself is an explanatory mechanism for price theory.  
> Rather, this argument, made by quite a few people in 
> various variations on Marxism, would argue that it is an 
> analysis of class relations above all.  Thus it is the 
> analysis of surplus value and the rate of exploitation 
> which was Marx's greatest contribution, as Engels states in 
> his funeral oration, and not this as a foundation for 
> equilibrium price theory.

Fair enough, but we can ask the same question about value and class
relations that we can ask about value and price. What does value talk add?
If we are intrerested in class relations, why not talk about those
directly? 

>      One can certainly find large sections of Marx's 
> writings where it looks like he is after explaining price 
> theory, but the "transformation problem" amounted to 
> recognizing that it could only do so with some extra 
> machinery added on of one sort or another.  (Of course 
> there may be other ways to handle such machinery, such as 
> bringing in temporal sequential analysis such as can be 
> found in parts of the Freeman-Carchedi volume, _Marx and 
> Non-Equilibrium Economics_, 1996, Edward Elgar).
> Barkley Rosser

The transformation problem can be solved. But (a) The Borkewicz solution,
appropriated by Swweezy, deopends on very special and unrealistic
assumptions. and (b) Even if it can bve solved, there is the
Sraffa-Steedman challenge of explaining what the values explain--granbting
taht they can be determined, do they do any work?

--Justin




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