[OPE-L:2261] Re: value-form theories

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 07:43:39 EST

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Riccardo wrote in [OPE-L:2259]:

> Now, go and give a look at Sraffa in the 1960 book. He puts the net product
> in prices equal to 1. Then he also put the direct labour of the society
> equal to 1. Then assume that there is a wage (share) higher than zero. What
> is Sraffa's implied answer to "How does M => (M + dM)?", at the systemic
> level (don't worry about relative prices!). Labour.
> Of course, you may answer me that here you don't have the dialectical
> systematic presentation, etc. Is this necessarily a weakness? Or tu put in
> a different way: don't should we explain why we must take a difficult,
> roundabout, complicate way to give the same answer?
> Similar train of thought may be applied to a lot of other thinkers:
> Kalecki, Kaldor, Robinson, even Keynes, and so on, and so on.

R/W offer an answer to the last two questions in VFS, Part 1, Sections 1-3

My short answer to both of your questions is "yes". That is because the
object of our analysis is not to develop a single "result" unless it is
the comprehension of the systemic nature of capitalism. This requires that
we analyze capitalism not just as bits and pieces that are
(seemingly) unrelated to each other, but to develop a conceptual framework
that allows us to comprehend capitalism as a whole (i.e. as a social
system or mode of production).

Interestingly, Geert criticizes Napoleoni re source and measures of value
for neglecting "Marx's method of layered conceptual development" which
results in "situating Marx in the methodical tradition of Ricardo, rather
than in that of Hegel's dialectics" ("The Source Versus Measure Obstacle
in Value Theory", _Rivisti di Politica Economics_, April-May, 1999, p.
113). The objection to Napoleoni could also be extended to the
methodology of Sraffa and the others you mention. Perhaps it is most
clearly evident in the work of Keynes in the sense that his theory only
attempts to explain the "short-run" and therefore large elements of a
theory of capitalism are missing at sea.

In solidarity, Jerry

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