[OPE-L:3427] Re: Re: Re: Re: Gil's criticisms

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 02 2000 - 14:27:15 EDT

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>There is nothing in Marx's theory that would preclude one class of
>defrauding another, or one class (or other social group) using violence to
>obtain surplus value from another class (or social group). Indeed, in
>chapter one Marx doesn't argue that commodities must exchange at labor
>values. Rather, the power of Marx's analysis is that even if there is no
>fraud, or physical violence, or commodities exchanging at a different ratio
>than their value, the labor/labor-power distinction allows for the creation
>of surplus value and the exploitation of workers.
>All of the other stuff can be brought in at later, more concrete stages of
>development of the analysis.

Hi, Patrick--Yes, of course no "fraud" is necessary. That's why I put the
term in quotes, and that's the second reason why that passage in Ch. 5:
"The capitalist class cannot defraud itself" is an utter non sequitur.
And demonstration that surplus value can arise given that commodities
exchange at their respective values is "powerful" only to the extent that
there something economically significant about the case of price-value
equivalence. There isn't.
To the contrary, to pose the question in this way is to lead attention away
from the real basis of capitalist exploitation, and from the role that
capitalist production plays in that basis. I agree with you about chapter
one, though--tell that to Fred. Gil

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