KEEN IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
John R. Ernst
ernst at pipeline.com
Thu Nov 2 20:24:34 MST 1995
Chill out, you Marxists.
Whether or not Keen is an eneny of the working class or
whatever class one things is the most exploited of the day is
not the question. No one cares. Nor should we care if
he disagrees with Marx's basic concepts. We might, however,
want to find out if he has anything to say about accumulation,
technical change, etc. He might also have something to say
about money and credit given the lack of a universal
equivalent or gold. He is a self-admitted POSt-KEYNESIAN.
Who knows --he might be able to explain the hows and whys
of that school's development.
As we provoke him into taking on tasks for which his studies
make him more qualified than we are, what are we to do?
Why waste time attacking him? Let's get on with confronting a
few of the real problems of value theory.
a. How does Sweezy's postion on the transformation problem
force him to adopt Dobb's notion of the FRP?
b. What can be said of Sweezy's notion of "machinofacture"?
c. How do we answer Okishio?
These are not all the questions we could discuss. But given
what I am seeing on this list relative to Keen, it seems to be
a set of questions for which those who condemn Keen have no
answers. We should not simply believe in the labor theory of
value; we should also be able to use it to move forward. I
see little indication that those who point fingers at Keen are
willing to do so. Hence, I think their arguments for the labor
theory of value are religious. Until we complete the labor
theory of value, it remains, at best, a working hypothesis;
at worst, a religious belief. Those who miss religion in their
daily lives should go to church; those who care to think,
should be willing to discuss things in an attempt to solve
In orthodoxy and looking for answers,
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