Steve's post on Chaos (from Tom)

Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU
Sun Nov 13 15:27:13 MST 1994

Tom writes:
|I think that your application of chaos theory to economics is well-intentioned
|but flawed.  Certainly chaos th
 has its place in the study of molecular

Tom, if you think chaos only has application to molecular structures, then
you have too little knowledge of the area to comment! My post was merely
meant to back up and clarify some valid points Alex made, which you seem
prepared to dismiss on the basis of too little knowledge.

|But when you apply it to social realities, you end up transforming
|whole classes into molecules--or rather, static, fixed particles which
|interact pretty much like "things" in Aristotle's and Kant's thought--that is
|to say, there are things within themselves, and their relations with other
|things are "accidents" which affect them temporarily, until they snap back
|to their essential state.

I suppose then you don't know that biologists are now arguing that evolution
is a chaotic process, where interactions between organisms, their environment,
and other organisms (which form part of the environment) cause alterations in
all three "things". But biologists hardly think that if, somehow, you could
remove a complex evolved organism from its environment, it would "snap back"
into an amoeba.

|This has very little to do with dialectics, in
|which the things are dissolved into the total system of relationships, and
|the contradictions that result.

Read Lewontin et als _The Dialectical Biologist_, which predates the work
on chaos in biology; conceptually, the dialectical approach and the chaotic
one are nearly identical.

|I don't any possibility, from your theory, of comprehending the greatest
|contradiction of the capitalist system--the falling rate of profit. Yet
|this fundamental contradiction, as anyone can see, is working its
|deleterious magic upon our society daily.  It's as if your transforming
|"classes" into the abstraction of "nation" and "people" which Marx
|critiqued in the Grundrisse.

My "theory" is one simple nonlinear model, mate; it was not intended to
address the TRPF, so I'm hardly surprised that you don't see any possibility
of comprehending what you see as the "greatest contradiction" from it.

Steve Keen


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