[OPE-L:4184] Re: [Mike W] Re:...

Michael William (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 13:26:48 -0800 (PST)

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Thanks for your comments, with which I largely agree. My remarks were
sparked by something Duncan said, and were addressed to what neoclassicals
have had to say about exploitation and related concepts, and should not be
read as a defence of their position.

Nevertheless, this exchange does highlight a difficulty I often have in my
value-form presentations: these are intended to capture the reality of
contemporary capitalist market economies. And the neo-classical notion of
(Pareto) efficiency of the allocation of resources sustained by competitive
markets reverberates both as part of that reality, and as supporting and
reinforcing it. After the interlude of the post war Keynesian/welfare
consensus - capitalism with a human face - we have returned with a
vengeance to the increasing commodification of everything. In such a
society the kinds of fundamental questions about efficiency *to what end*
that you raise lead an increasingly haunted existence in the joints of
modern society. It becomes impermissible, quaint, 'unrealistic' to ask
about the value of anything if we already know its price.

Thus in the critique of orthodox economics we seek the critique (critical
appraisal) of bourgeois reality that cannot be pushed forward merely by
posing an alternative, morally superior possibility.
Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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