[OPE-L:7579] [OPE-L:1129] Re: Re: A Review of Lapides' Marx's Wage theory

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Mon Sep 06 1999 - 16:21:30 EDT

zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu wrote:

> Jurriaan has stimulated me to look more carefully at Lapides vis-a-vis
> Ajit:
> On 09/05/99 at 01:41 PM, Ajit Sinha <ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in> said:
> >The fundamental problem with Lapides s position stems from his complete
> >misunderstanding of the logic of Marx s immiseration thesis. He
> >identifies Marx s increasing immiseration thesis with Iron Law of Wages
> >, which is simply absurd.
> p. 250 in Lapidea reads "His [Marx's] comments in *Capital* about a
> growing "mass of misery" were interpreted as though *he* were the author
> of the 'iron law of wages', with the result that his complex analysis of
> capitalist dynamics and the labor-capital realtions (and thus any program
> based on it) was debased and made an easy target for critics". At the
> bottom of that same page: "the followers of Marx unwittingly took up the
> abandoned position of the 'iron law', which they rechristened the
> 'increasing misery doctrine'."
> Doesn't sound to me Lapides is guilty identifying immiseration with an an
> 'iron law'. In fact, that particular chapter in Lapides is pretty
> circumspect in its conclusions.


Paul, on page 243 Lapides writes: "We have only to substitute
thesis' for 'iron law of wages' to see with what contempt Marx would
reacted had he lived to see how his theory was reduced to caricature."

Again, on page 244 he wtites: "Is there anything in Marx's writings that
might mislead someone to thinking that he subscribed to a wage theory
on* 'increasing misery'?" (emphasis mine)

This is quite revealing. If one understands increasing misery thesis
correctly, one would know that a theory of wages cannot be *based on*
it. It
is a result of an analysis, a prediction of the theory. A theory cannot
based on its predictions. On the other hand a theory of wages can be
based on
a *law*, in this case the iron law of wages. Lapides makes the blunder
confusing the two in his mind. Cheers, ajit sinha

> Paul
> ***********************************************************************
> Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at
> ******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

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