Thoughts for Jim Miller
John R. Ernst
ernst at pipeline.com
Fri Oct 27 12:37:32 MDT 1995
Dear Jim Miller,
In your latest post you state that I've
put the LOV in the category of religion.
To be sure, I did refer to it that way but
only in so far as one simply repeats the LOV
without taking into account the objections
to it. When Steve Keen and I discuss
matters concerning the LOV, we are both
aware of many of these objections. To be
honest, it is not clear to me that you are.
For example, let's take the Okishio Theorem.
It shows that if real wages are constant and
values calculated in the usual way, the rate
of profit will not fall. How do you answer
Okishio? From what you have written on this
list I do not have a clue. As for me, I have
argued in a recent post on the Keen/Ernst
discussion that values cannot be simultaneously
determined. Where do you stand on this and, more
My argument with Steve begins by questioning his
method of valuation on the basis of where it
takes him. That is, does it allow him to somehow
capture that ever elusive, law of motion of modern
society? We'll see. That ball is in his court. Meanwhile,
as someone who takes Marx seriously and not religiously
I see the need to complete his work or, more modestly,
to help complete it. For example, Marx himself said after
publishing the first book of CAPITAL that the timing of
crises was to be related to the turnover of fixed capital.
Yet within the halls of Marxism we have no work on this
issue. Are we saying that Marx was wrong? Is the task
simply too difficult? Again, as Marxists, we stand without
Let's take another issue. For Marxists and non-Marxists,
it was explicitly or implicitly assumed that for a FRP the
economy must also have an increasing capital output
ratio in material terms. Recently, some, including myself,
have rejected that idea. It is an issue. Let's discuss it.
It clearly came up in the passage from the GRUNDRISSE
that Keen cited.
Thus, it does seem to me that in discussions with each other
much is being said and learned. We have to listen. I'll
listen to Keen/Ahab and demand that he listen to me. He does
and I try. I do not jump all over him at every point simply because
I do not have a completed theory of that law of motion. If I did,
I would. I suppose where you and I differ is that I think Marx
was right -- work is still to done. If you've put it all together,
it is news to me and, I assume, to others as well. Until I see it,
I'll hop aboard Keen's Pequod and see where it takes me,
bearing in mind the seemingly fatal flaws at the beginning of
our journey. Call me what's his name.
--- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
More information about the Marxism