[OPE-L:2265] Re: Re: value-form theories

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 08:26:03 EST

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At 13:43 +0100 21-01-2000, Gerald Levy wrote:
>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

Unfortunately, Geert does not give a fair presentation of Napoleoni, who
exactly was one who stressed the layered conceptual development of Marx's
capital! Your point, Jerry, is controversial. Marx imo gives the
possibility to be developed la Reuten and la Napoleoni. What is sure is
that Napoleoni has nothing to do with Ricardo. I told this to Geert in the
past, with 'proofs': cfr. my paper. Geert's position about measure and
source etc. is an interpretation, as is mine. You quotes as if Geert is
right by definition. Unfortunately, Napoleoni is Ricardian only if Marx is
Geert's Marx, and if the abstract labour is Geert's AL. What I am

About Sraffa etc., I am surprised by what you say. People who stress the
systemic and layered conceptual development must show that their results
are *different*, even if they look the same, exactly beacuse of the
position in the whole. And *why* they are different. After the whole
dialectical development, it should be *easy* to explain in *brief* what's
*different* between, says, one's own position and Sraffa. For example, I
can say for short that even if my 'prices of prod.' are quantitatively the
same as Sraffa's, his prices are deduced when production is over and before
exchange. Hence, the core of Marx's LTV cannot be tested, since the LTV imo
is about abstract labour in motion. And the notion of abstract labour in
motion is necessary to understand the link between money and value,
exploitation, unbalanced development, crisis. Wrong, may be. But simple,
isn't it? But if you wish, I may go on and on for pages and pages with
dialectical jargon.

You are right, however, I'll have to give a look at home at RW's book.


        Riccardo Bellofiore
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