[OPE-L:4150] Re: extending [completing, developing, deepening] Marx

Steve Kee (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 07:31:28 -0800 (PST)

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>That must be your favorite Marx quote!

Not quite mate! That title probably goes to the grundrisse, footnote p. 267!

>To begin with, recall that it comes from Ch. 25, Part 1 -- "A Growing
>Demand for Labour-Power Accompanies Accumulation *if the composition of
>capital remains the same*" (emphasis added). Yet, since my question
>(reproduced below) concerned the trade cycle, there is every reason to
>believe that the composition of capital should *not* be constant.

Point taken. On that note I've done some preliminary work towards a general
dynamic model (which may or may not be appearing in ROPE...) which implies
that doing what your next paragraphs suggest is a hellishly complicated task!

>The other aspect of the question that I raised concerned the relation of
>the turnover time of fixed capital (including moral depreciation) to the
>trade cycle, the LTGRPD, credit, and crises. The quote that you
>reproduced does not deal with these issues. Nor would we expect it
>to given the level of abstraction of VI since these other issues are
>addressed at later, more concrete, stages of the analysis.
>I am not suggesting that variations in the demand for labour-power have
>no role in understanding the trade cycle or capitalist crises. Rather, I
>am suggesting that we need to relate changes in the turnover time of
>constant fixed capital to the trade cycle and other aspects of capitalist

And on this one:

>Lastly, you suggest that the trade cycle can be explained without
>reference to the "LTV". That may or may not be the case. What is clear is
>that Marx considered value to be essential to understanding the dynamics
>of capitalism. Of course, we can disagree with Marx -- as many others
>have. Although the Goodwin model is more mathematically sophisticated, I
>continue to believe that Marx's understanding of the process of
>capitalist dynamics was much richer.

I consider value to be essential too--but I don't subscribe to the LTV, as
you know. And no argument that Marx's understanding was richer--but
Goodwin's insight did provide an excellent basis on which a more complex
understanding can be built.

Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
Faculty of Business & Technology
University of Western Sydney
PO Box 555 Campbelltown NSW 2560
s.keen@uws.edu.au (046) 20-3254 Fax (046) 26-6683
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