[OPE-L:3043] Re: empirical verification of interpretations of Marx?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 00:25:42 EDT

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Jerry wrote in 3024:

>I believe you misunderstood the questions I was posing in relation to
>the Mattick Jr. quote. In that quote Paul M was making a *very strong*
>claim: that Marx began with the commodity because that is "the most
>elementary with respect to capitalist society *as theorized by
>classical theory*" (the emphasis was in the original).

Actually Mattick Jr is probably correct. According to Canaan in Theories of
Production and Distribution (skimmed in a bookstore today), Adam Smith
accepted the physiocratic limitation to only objects with exchange value,
i.e., commodities, in the analysis of the wealth of nations. The analysis
was confined to the product of labor in commodity form. Well I'll look more
carefully next time or maybe even buy what I think is supposed to be
classic in the history of economic thought. Jerry, if you have the book,
the discussion to which I refer is the very first 5-10 pages.

Yours, Rakesh

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