Forwarded from Jurriaan (reply to Rakesh)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Mar 7 16:40:43 MST 2001

I would agree with the main argument Rakesh makes as I understand it from
his note. However, when he says "following Karl Korsch, I don't think Marx
had any intention in descending into the world of actual market prices."
he's not quite right in my view. Certainly Marx wasn't particularly
interested in predicting price movements for particular goods (except
possibly gold). However late in his life he did toy with the idea of using
financial statistics to predict the ups and downs of the business cycle,
about which he spoke to Samuel Moore (according to a letter). The main
problem however was that insufficient data were available at the time to be
able to do this (similarly Engels comments on the difficulty of calculating
value-ratios empirically because nobody did those calculations and the data
wasn't there or didn't exist). The relevant letter by Marx is quoted by
Wassily Leontief in his essay "The significance of Marxian economics for
Present-day Economic Theory", reprinted in David Horowitz (ed), Marx and
Modern Economics.



Louis Proyect
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