[OPE-L:5658] Re: Re: Re: Marx's theory as a quantitative theory

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Wed May 23 2001 - 16:43:47 EDT

In 5657 Chris quotes Marx:

>"Political economy has indeed analysed value and its magnitude, however
>incompletely, and has uncovered the content concealed within these forms.
>But it has never once asked the question why this content has assumed that
>particular form, that is to say, why labour is expressed in value, and why
>the measurement of labour by its duration is expressed in the magnitude of
>the value of the product"
social labor time can only be represented by way of the value of the 
commodity because due to class relations, viz. the private control of 
production,  producers only have contact with each other through the 
objects of their labor.   If not for the class relations of private, 
commodity production by means of wage labor, labor time would not be 
represented by the value of its objectifications.
But Marx's critique of classical economy's blindness to the historic 
preconditions of the phenomena of which it attempted a not wholly 
unsuccessful scientific investigation goes back to at least the Notes 
on Mill (more importantly, Marx accepts Richard Jones's critique of 
Ricardo's rent theory because Ricardo fails to understand that the 
laws that he attempts to lay out depend on historical preconditions 
such as the mobility of labor power, the emergence of industrial 
capital, etc, and not just transhistoric factors such as differential 
fertility and proximity to the market). How we are to characterize 
this kind of critique and the errors which it exposes raises 
important questions about the nature of Marx's theory of scientific 

>  It is because capital
>cares about time that labours are commensurated by time, and not  v.v.
>Once the form-determinations are in place the illusion arises that labour
>time is value.

But, Chris, why do you say that capital cares about (labour?) time 
rather than (say) abstract wealth? Or what is the relation between 
time and the abstract form of wealth? It would seem that capital 
cares about abstract wealth the measure of which may then be labor 
Best, Rakesh

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