[OPE-L:5631] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marx's theory as a quantitative theory

From: nicola taylor (n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Sun May 20 2001 - 11:36:54 EDT

>Nicky, thank very much for your interesting post (5625).  A question of
>clarification below.

Hi Fred, clarification will be hasty alas: appologies in advance:

>I had written in my previous post:
>> >Marx presented his theory of the magnitude of surplus-value in Chapter 7
>> >of Volume 1.  In Chapter 7, it is certainly true that, when Ls = 0 hours,
>> >then S = 0 shillings, and when Ls = 6 hours, then S = 3 shillings.  More
>> >generally, the magnitude of surplus-value is determined by the magnitude
>> >of surplus labor, as represented by the equation:
>> >
>> >	S = m Ls
>> >
>> >as I have discussed.  Marx's logic in this chapter certainly seems to
>> >assume a CAUSAL LINK between surplus labor and surplus-value.
>You replied:
>> I don't agree.  
>Nicky, what exactly do you disagree with: (1) with my interpretation of
>Marx's logic in Chapter 7, which assumes a causal link between surplus
>labor and surplus-value; or (2) (accepting my interpretation of Marx's
>logic) you disagree with Marx's logic itself in Chapter 7?  It is not
>clear to me which one of these you disagree with, and you seem to waver
>between the two.

Re (1) I suggested the plausible (I think) alternative view that Marx's
Capital *as a whole* is based on a systematic dialectical logic intended to
elaborate the necessary interconnections that make capitalism what it
essentially is.  Re (2) the development of categories in Capital is not
*always* and *everywhere* consistent with the systematic dialectic; Ch 7
can be criticised as such. 

>You say in the next paragraph that "ideal precommensuration" implies that
>form determines content in capitalism, rather than the other way
>around.  Does this mean that prices determine labor-time, rather than the
>other way around? 

No, it doesn't.  Determination and causality have different meanings in the
systematic dialectic than you are attributing here.  But Chris Arthur, Tony
Smith, Mike Williams and Geert Reuten have all written papers on this,
explaining the interconnection of categories (at different levels of
analysis) much better than I can in a few short lines...    

>Are you suggesting that this is a different
>interpretation of Marx's logic in Chapter 7, or that this is a different
>logic from that which Marx presented in Chapter 7? 

Hope the answer to this can be read off the answer to your first question.

>In the following paragraph, you seem to accept my interpretation of Marx's
>logic in Chapter 7 (that there is a causal link between surplus labor and
>surplus-value), but then argue that Marx's logic "gets in the way" of a
>form-determined theory of capitalism, and that Marx's logic is based on
>"dubious simplified assumptions".  In other words, accepting my
>interpretation of Marx's logic, you reject Marx's logic itself, as
>presented in Chapter 7.

Once again: I think that Capital is best *read* as a systematic dialectical
work.  I did not deny that Marx sometimes used an analytic (rather than
systematic dialectical) method, hence a focus on particular chapters - eg
Chapter 7 - produces a plausable alternative view: (1) of the main
objective of Capital, (2) of Marx's value theory, and (3) of the method of
capital.  I acknowledged this at the start.  In other words, I find
inconsistencies (especially of method) in Capital itself (a work in
progress, after all), rather than in the great variety of appropriations of
it (yours, VFT, others).  It is my view, however, that the
Ricardian/analytic heritage (undeniably present in Chapter 7) gets in the
way of a full development of a sytematic dialectical theory of social
value, which I see as the main purpose of Capital, and the element of
Marx's value theory most worth developing. 

Sorry about the rush job; hope a little clearer anyway...

Nicola Mostyn (Taylor)
Faculty of Economics
Murdoch University
Telephone: 61-8-9385 1130

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