Friday, February 16, 2007

Andrew Kliman's Latest

I have just started reading Andrew Kliman's new book, Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency. I haven't read the earlier The New Value Controversy and the Foundations of Economics, but I have read the even earlier Marx and Non-Equilibrium Economics and numerous journal and conference papers. The literature on the Temporal Single System Interpretation (TSSI) is large. Some of it consists of criticism by Sraffians. The New Interpretation (NI) of Gérard Duménil and Duncan Foley is also at play in recent literature on Marx's transformation problem. And some contributions have been made by scholars who might not self-identify with the interpretations put forward by any of these three schools.

I think I might have first read Alan Freeman in his contribution to Ricardo, Marx, Sraffa. I know I did not appreciate that essay as a developed interpretation of Marx's mathematical economics. It is only with later works that I saw something in the TSSI to agree or disagree with.

And generally I do disagree. I think both Freeman and Kliman write clear and amusingly, unlike the Hegelese some of their colleagues sometimes use. I can see how Marx was interpreted as consistent in his analysis of the transformation problem, even prior to the development of the TSSI. Unlike Kliman's claims for the TSSI, Eatwell's Sraffian interpretation does not maintain the law of the falling rate of profit. I thought Kliman was just wrong in his claim to refute the Okishio theorem, but I see that he has not conceded a mistake.

I did think about taking a pass on Kliman's book, since I think I may be familiar with the argument. I am interested in what textual evidence he put forwards for the TSSI interpretation. I suspect he will not address the question of whether Ricardo had a dual system. Marx criticizes confusion in Ricardo and other classical economists. Some of these criticisms are well taken; Ricardo doesn't always clearly distinguish between labor values and natural prices. Can one read those criticisms as putting forward the TSSI as the proper way to relate values and prices? It will not surprise me if Kliman does not address this question. (I don't think this question has been formulated in this way in the literature.)

I append a bibliography of some criticisms of the TSSI. I don't recall the substance of most of these criticisms. I gather that advocates of the TSSI have responded to most of these articles.

Maybe I'll write more when I get further along in Kliman's book.
  • Laibman, David (2000). "Rhetoric and Substance in Value Theory: An Appraisal of the New Orthodox Marxism", Science & Society, V. 64, N. 3 (Fall): 310-332
  • Mohun, Simon (2003). "On the TSSI and the Exploitation Theory of Profit", Capital and Class (Autumn): 85-102
  • Mongiovi, Gary (2002). "Vulgar Economy in Marxian Garb: A Critique of Temporal Single System Marxism", Review of Radical Political Economics, V. 34: 393-416
  • Screpanti, Ernesto (2005). "Guglielmo Carchedi's 'Art of Fudging' Explained to the People", Review of Political Economy, V. 17, N. 1 (January): 115-126
  • Veneziani, Roberto (2004). "The Temporal Single-System Interpretation of Marx's Economics: A Critical Evaluation", Metroeconomica, V. 55, N. 1: 96-114
  • Veneziani, Roberto (2005). "Dynamics, Disequilibrium, and Marxian Economics: A Formal Analysis of Temporal Single-System Marxism", Review of Radical Political Economics, V. 37, N. 4 (Fall): 517-529

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