[OPE-L:5169] Re: Re: was Marx an economist?

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 06:35:47 EST

Hi Nicky, and all,

Well, I disagree with Chris's basic point - though I find it an 
extremely fruitful and illuminating argument.

Value is congealed abstract labour. Only *because* of this does it 
have to appear as money. Fetishism is the result of not recognising 
this point.

Once we abstract from every sensuous particularity of a 
commodity we are left with some'thing', viz. socially necessary 
labour time.

'Thing' is in scare quotes above because it is true to say that value 
is not a *sensuous* thing. But Chris disagree's with Marx (and me) 
that we nevertheless are left with congealed abstract labour once 
all particularity, all sensuousness, is abstracted from.

This makes it difficult to understand the very first few pages of 
Capital except as a simple mistake, or as a Ricardian 'hangover' 
(Reuten &Williams' interpretation). More importantly it jepordises 
the quantitative dimension of value theory, since we cannot explain 
money magnitudes by labour time. Chris tries to introduce labour 
time (exploitation time) later in the presentation so as to overcome 
this problem.

Best wishes,


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