[OPE-L:3092] RE: Simple Commodity Production

From: Michael Williams (mike.williams@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 09:08:47 EDT

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> [mailto:owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu]On Behalf Of Allin Cottrell
> Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 1:17 PM
> To: OPE-L
> Subject: [OPE-L:3087] Re: RE: Simple Commodity Production
Allin wrote:
> I apologize for my intemperate language.

OK - none of us are immune to the charge of using intemperate language, I

> I do think, though, that it's a terrible strain to try to read
> the passage I cited from vol. III as saying anything other than:
> The exchange of commodities at their values is a phenomenon
> found in various pre-capitalist formations.

It may well be that I am trying too hard to rescue all of Marx's comments
from what I consider to be incoherence: as an economist (never mind my
sweaty interest in Hegel for now) I cannot see that it is appropriate to
model (even!) commodity exchange with an exchange-at-value model unless we
have systematically identified the economic and social mechanisms by which
exchange-at-value can be reproduced as the norm. Under developed capitalism,
widespread markets (including for labour-power and money capital) do the
trick. In the evolution to capitalism, we can identify embryonic forms of
such mechanisms. In definitively pre-capitalist societies, what are the
analogues of the capitalist market system?

My interest in a systemic discourse would then require further
justification, but let's leave that alone for now, as I think that you, at
least, are not really open to persuasion on the usefulness of systematic
conceptual development of this kind.


"What is matter? - Never mind. What is mind? - No matter."

Dr Michael Williams
Economics and Social Sciences
De Montfort University
Milton Keynes

tel: +1908 834876
[Home: +1703 768641]
fax: 0870 133 1147

mike.williams@dmu.ac.uk <mailto:mike.williams@dmu.ac.uk>
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