[PEN-L:11878] Re: RE: Re: units of analysis (was: wojte

Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Thu Sep 30 14:22:50 MDT 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky [mailto:nestor at sisurb.filo.uba.ar]
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 4:39 PM
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: RE: [PEN-L:11878] Re: RE: Re: units of analysis (was: wojte

El 28 Sep 99 a las 11:29, Craven, Jim nos dice(n):

> In my classes, I always ask, quoting several textbooks
> that argue that "efficiency" (doing more with less) is
> always good, is "efficiency" always "good".

In Spanish, we have the diad efficiency / efficacy, meaning
approximately "doing more with less" / "doing what needs be
done". Sepoys, neoliberals and pro-imperialst economists in
gneeral (as well as, in a meaner version, bourgeois ones),
speak of efficiency. This is reasonable. We should speak of
efficacy instead.

Is English-language culture so permeated of the bourgeois
categories of mind that the diad does not exist there?


Actually Nestor, the bourgois NC paradigm has retreated, in the face of
reality (for people who can't handle drugs, religion or mystification) to
what you suggest: X-efficiency (good enough for government work); bounded
"rationality" instead of perfect rationality; asymmetric information instead
of "perfect" information; asymmetric "factor" mobility instead of perfect
factor mobility; "satisfaction" instead of maximization of total profit and
ultility; etc.

But even the concept of efficacy "doing what needs to be done" begs some
questions: "needs" to be done as defined by whom?; for whom?; at what costs
and benefits to whom?; who defines/calculates "costs" and "benefits" and on
the basis of what paradigms and derivative calculus of efficiency/efficacy?

Jim C.

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