[OPE-L:3234] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Re: RE: starting points

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 11:58:31 EDT

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Ajit writes:

>On another note: I don't think Gil's value-price identity for the
>argument in chapter five is very faithful to Marx. It seems to me
>that Marx is arguing in terms of labor as substance (as let's say
>corn in one commodity model). In this case he wants to show that
>even when we assume that equal labor exchange in the market, a
>surplus of labor emerges due to a particular exchange that is a
>peculiarity of capitalist mode of production.

As far as being "faithful to Marx," what Marx *claims* he's doing in Ch. 5
is very different from Ajit's representation. According to Ajit, Marx
wants only to show that it is *possible* to account for surplus value on
the (arbitrary?) assumption that prices equal values, a matter of logical
*sufficiency.* But Marx is manifestly insisting on something stronger, to
the effect that it analytically important, even in some sense *necessary*
to start with the condition of price-value equivalence in explaining
surplus value. Indeed, this is how he describes the "double result* he
claims to have established by the end of Ch. 5. And Marx makes another
claim about the *necessary* consequences of positing price-value
equivalence at the beginning of Ch. 6. [For what it's worth, his
*sufficiency* argument with respect to surplus value is set up in the
remainder of Ch. 6 and then detailed in Ch. 7 and beyond.] Gil

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