Re: [OPE-L] price of production/supply price/value

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Fri Feb 10 2006 - 13:22:04 EST

Hi Andy

> Turning to your first question, you ask, "[w]hy do you think that an
> economic structure (e.g. i/o matrix) *must* be reduced to a non-price
> scalar in order for the economy to reproduce over time?" My answer
> begins with the familiar point that reproduction is *caused* by a
> scalar, a scalar that we have been calling 'price' [this name is not
> accurate given the arguments of my last post - an issue I ignore below].
> This is not a matter of contingency. It is *continually* caused by this
> scalar throughout the existence of capitalism. This scalar is the
> dominant aspect of the social regulation of reproduction. Therefore this
> scalar must be necessarily related to feasible reproduction proportions
> (i.e. to self-reproducible economic structures). I spelt out a similar
> proposition before so I think you agree with it.


> Now, we know what is and what is not necessarily related to feasible
> reproduction proportions by scrutinising them. (To comprehend an object
> requires comprehension of its necessary relations). And on scrutinising
> them, there is only one scalar to which they are necessarily related,
> viz. SNLT.

No. That's the N-R transformation problem: it denies that prices are
"necessarily related" to SNLT. Why? Because the dual-accounting
systems are mismatched. According to this critique, you cannot explain
prices in terms of labour-values ("no way" of going from the value
prong to the price prong, even in the aggregate). So you're begging
the question here -- or implicitly assuming a response to the TP.

> The extent to which Sraffian prices are related with feasible
> reproduction proportions can only be determined by this prior scrutiny
> of such proportions. If *no* scalar is necessarily related to feasible
> reproduction proportions then price (a scalar) cannot be either.

Price is related to "feasible reproduction proportions". That's not in
question. What is contested by his N-R critics is Marx's claim that
those prices *represent* SNLT, even in the aggregate.

> A telltale sign that we have some sort of deep disagreement here is that
> the above just seems plain and obvious to me. Clearly it seems plainly
> and obviously wrong to you. I wonder if my exposition has at least
> helped to find where, precisely, our disagreement lies?

Not yet. (And I think we may disagree on the significance of the N-R
critique, but I do not think we have deep disagreements on
value-theory). But we may be beginning to go around in circles. I'm
not taken with your argument that labour-time must be "it" because
generalized production time is also "time". That also seems to be
begging the question.

Best wishes,

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