[OPE-L:5641] Re: the division of labor in a dialectical systematic theory of capitalism?

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 10:39:57 EDT

Gerald_A_Levy wrote:

> In 5632 Ajit wrote:
> > The problem is simple: how do you deal with the
> > means of production part of the commodity in its
> > exchange?
> Reuten-Williams after an answer to that problem
> in _Value-Form and the State_, pp. 68-71. In
> brief, from their perspective the magnitude of the
> value transferred  from the means of production is
> determined by the *current value*  (or what R/W
> call the *current ideal value*) of the m of
> p rather than the historical value (historical costs).
> On this point, see 9c (71) and note 6 (69).


I have not read the work you are referring to, but what you say up here
does not make sense to me. If you are going to explain somebody either
what is value or how value is determined, then you cannot say that the
value of a part of the commodity is determined by "current value". It is
obviously question begging. That is, how is this "current value"
determined? And if we already knew this, then what was the problem of
value to begin with?

> On my first (mis-) reading of 5632, I thought that
> Ajit was referring in part to the theorization of
> the *division of labor* in VFT.   This led me to
> look through a whole pile of books either
> written by or including articles by VFT authors
> including Chris, Tony S, Geert, and Mike W.
> To my surprise, I found hardly anything written
> specifically on this subject.  Even in R/W's
> systemic dialectical presentation, the division of
> labor under capitalism is not a subject that is
> developed.  What is the reason for this omission?
> Have any VFT authors written a review of Rob
> Beamish's book _Marx, method, and the division
> of labor_ (Urbana, University of Illinois Press,
> 1992)?   I think it is a very important piece of
> scholarship on this topic.


To the best of my knowledge, I was the first one, probably still the
only one writing on value theory, who took Beamish's work seriously and
commented on it in my 'A Critique of Part one of *Capital* one: The
Value Controversy Revisited', RIPE, 1996. In my opinion, Ali Rattansi's
work on division of labor in Marx is probably the best one. Cheers, ajit

> More generally, where is the theorization within
> R/W and other VFT writings on the subjects
> developed in _Capital_ Vol 1, Chs. 13-15?
> The closest that I can find to a theorization of
> those subjects from a VFT perspective are
> Tony's writings at a much more concrete level
> of analysis re "Lean Production" (e.g. his
> article in the Arthur/Reuten ed. _The Circulation
> of Capital_).
> I am truly puzzled by this.
> In solidarity, Jerry

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