[OPE-L:3278] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: starting points

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Sun May 21 2000 - 12:59:30 EDT

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>Duncan K. Foley wrote:
>> Wicksell bases his critique of Marx's theory of money on the dependency of
>> "socially necessary labor time" on demand. He argues that it is not true
>> that "money comes to the market with a value and commodities with a price"
>> determined in production because of this point.
>> Duncan
>That's why i think the Hegelian interpretation of "socially
>necessary labor" is
>a dead end for Marxian economics. And, of course, beginning of the
>of Marxian economics into neoclassical economics. Cheers, ajit

Only the basis of those staples of bourgeois ideology-- individualism and
fetishism, i.e., treatment of value as a property of a thing-- could it
even be imagined that labor time could prove itself to be *socially*
necessary outside of successful sale. How can something prove by itself its
own socially necessity? Not only is value imperceptible as Mattick Jr has
it except in the form of price, it does not even become real (and here the
analogy with quantum measurement seems important) except in the form of

However, that a commodity does not have/is not a value until it has been
sold at a price or that abstract labor is undefined except in relation to a
system of prices (Mattick Jr) does not mean that the price does not
misrepresent value. (Nor does it mean that anything with a price has
value.) The very measure by which the property can be made real will
necessarily misrepresent the property. There is wierdness here.

Marx does not identify value and price. Through successful price
measurement not only is value made real and redistributed, it is
necessarily misrespresented (market price will never equal or perhaps at
best only oscillate around production price), this however being not a
defect of the price form but on the contrary the only adequate form (and
Marx's argument does need spelling out here) for a mode of production whose
laws can only assert themselves as blindly operating averages between
constant irregularities.

And I don't get what is Hegelian here, though the echoes of Marx's critique
of Hegel's philosophy of right are quite resonant in this most crucial

"The *labour of tailoring*, which e.g., hides in the equivalent form does
not possess, with the value-expression of the linen, the *general* propety
of also being human labour. On the contrary. *Being human labour* counts as
*its essence* (wesen), being the labour of tailoring counts only as *form
of appearance* (erscheinungsform) or *definite form of realization of this
its essence.* This *quid pro quo* is unavoidable because the labour
represented in the product of labour only *goes to create value* insofar it
is undifferentiated human labour, so that the labour objectified in the
value of a product is *in no way distinguished* from the labour objectified
in the value of a different product.
"This *inversion* (Verkehrung) by which the sensibly concrete counts only
as the form of appearance of the abstractly general and not, on the
contrary the abstractly general as property of the concrete, characterises
the expression of value. At the same, it makes understanding it difficult.
If I say: Roman Law and German Law are both laws, that is obvious. But if I
say: Law (Das Recht), this abstraction (Absstraktrum)*realizes itelf* in
Roman Law and in German Law, in these concrete laws, the interconnection
becomes mystical."

There's mysticism of a Hegelian type in money-driven behavior.

Yours, Rakesh

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