[OPE-L:4129] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: use value and value

From: Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Date: Tue Oct 17 2000 - 01:52:25 EDT


To see where I am coming from on this--where I argue that Marx's analysis
of capitalism can't be understood without appreciating how he used the
concepts of use-value and exchange-value--you should read the footnote to
pages 267 and 268 of the Grundrisse (Penguin edition). It *is* something
quite deep, which most Marxists have failed to appreciate, and about which
Marx was quite passionate. His best statement on that front is in his
commentary on Wagner, where he wrote:

"only an obscurantist, who has not understood a word of Capital, can
conclude: Because Marx, in a note to the first edition of
Capital, overthrows all the German professorial twaddle on `use-value' in
general,therefore, use-value does not play any role in his work." (Carver,
T., 1975. Karl Marx: Texts on Method, Basil Blackwell, Oxford. p. 198-99)

Rosdolsky much later observed that:

"How often has the thesis of the `contradiction between use-value and
exchange value' been repeated? On the other hand, how often has anyone
really taken the trouble to develop this thesis or regard it as something
more than a survival of the time when Marx `coquetted with the Hegelian
manner of expression'? In reality we are dealing here with one of the most
fundamental discoveries of Marx's economics, the neglect of which makes his
conclusions in the theory of value and money appear utterly distorted".
*Rosdolsky, R., 1977. The Making of Marx's Capital, Pluto Press, London., p

I argue that this was the core of Marx's logic after 1857, and that when
properly applied, it contradicts the labor theory of value assertion that
labor is the only source of surplus. I can't say I have many supporters
(amongst marxists) on that front! However, if you read Marx properly, then
after 1857 it is impossible to justify any reading of Marx which does not
give this dialectic primacy. Unfortunately, most interpretations of
Marx--by friends and foes alike--completely ignores this aspect of his

At 20:52 16/10/00 -0700, you wrote:
>Steve, use value, as I read it is something more general than the
relationship to
>labor under capitalism.  Water has the same use value no matter what form
of mode
>of production exists.   Use value, as I understand it, consists of the
>inherent in an object.
>It exists irrespective of the personal situation of an individual.  To
shift to
>another example, a cigarette has no use value to me, but it still has a
use value
>because of its inherent properties.
>One example makes my interpretation weaker: where a commodity may confer
>upon a person.
>Maybe I am wrong.  This whole thing seems rather simple to me.  I am not
>any deep understanding to this discussion.  Maybe you people see something
that I
>Steve Keen wrote:
>> Why should the same not apply to machinery?--should not its use-value to a
>> capitalist also be quantitative?
>Michael Perelman
>Economics Department
>California State University
>Chico, CA 95929
>Tel. 530-898-5321
>E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu
Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
University of Western Sydney Macarthur
Building 11 Room 30,
Goldsmith Avenue, Campbelltown
PO Box 555 Campbelltown NSW 2560
s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
Home 02 9558-8018 Mobile 0409 716 088
Home Page: http://bus.macarthur.uws.edu.au/steve-keen/

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Oct 31 2000 - 00:00:10 EST