Monday, July 28, 2014

Joan Robinson and the LTV?


Joan Robinson, Lord Keynes' well-known disciple, is much revered among internet Post-Keynesians.

Here she explains the relationship between her teacher's economics and that of his predecessors (emphasis mine):
"Keynes turned the question [i.e. of exchange value] back again. He started thinking in Ricardo’s terms: output as a whole and why worry about a cup of tea? When you are thinking about output as a whole, relative prices come out in the wash  So Keynes began by getting money prices out of the way. Marshall’s cup of tea dissolved into thin air. But if you cannot use money, what unit of value do you take? A man hour of labour time. It is the most handy and sensible measure of value, so naturally you take it. You do not have to prove anything, you just do it." (link)
Oh my God! Did Robinson approve of Keynes' "metaphysical/mystical" disposition?

Robinson didn't mention Michael Jordan, either. But I can understand that: the guy wasn't around back then. Ditto for Nike shoes: they weren't all the rage.

But there's another problem: for some reason, neither Keynes, nor Robinson ever mentioned "symbolic positions in the inter-subjective network of desires". Not even a shadow of a suggestion on that.

Okay, maybe Hegel's Geist/the Force had to wait until the 21st century for that: the two ancient ones were not as bright as our contemporary PoMo/Poke fans and Roth's Koj√®ve's Hegel. That's why the "absence of a presence"  is, well, absent in their thought: they left it out of economics because they were old and dumb.

However, our most (selectively) forgiving internet PoMo/PoKe/radical subjectivists keep revering them …

Anyway, all that can be explained, then: Keynes and Robinson, like Marxists, were crappy Hegelians (that must be Marx's fault, somehow).

But, there's something I still can't understand: why on earth didn't Robinson even mention Nietzsche's anti-value theory of value?

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