[OPE-L:5829] Re: form and content re value-form and abstractlabour

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Fri Jun 08 2001 - 06:17:04 EDT

Hi Michael,

Many thanks for your previous reply which was very helpful....can't 
say I've ever thought so clearly about the literal meaning of 'tether' 

On 7 Jun 2001, at 22:38, Michael Williams wrote:

> Andrew B. talks,
> metaphorically, of 'congealed labour' and 'quasi-existence'. All this
> seems to me to be fumbling around to justify (some of) Marx's text. With
> the VF we are, with one bound, free of these mysterious entanglements:
> Abstract Labour exists only as a moment* of Commodity, and more generally
> of the capitalist system.

Why assume that, because I talk apparant jibberish (!!), I must be 
for some strange reason interested in 'justifying Marx', regardless 
of reality. Surely, a more sympathetic interpretation is that I view 
capitalism differently to you. Isn't it, in fact, fairly clear that our 
differences stem from our different philosophical postions. Note the 
difference between the materialist principle I tried to artiulate on a 
previous post and your own philosophical position as expressed in 
your 1989 book. We both talk of U, I and P, but I add the rather 
important notion of 'matter'!

Re 'plausibility': you seem to forget that your VFT is not quite so 
'plausible' as you make out; for it involves a rather odd sui generis 
'entity' called 'value', which apparently has no content whatsoever! 
More abstract even, than space and time, because space and time 
are abstractions from matter, whereas value doesn't seem to be an 
abstraction from anything. Now I guess you will reply that value 
must be 'concretised' but I don't see how one can concretise an 
impossible absurdity....I can concretise a general concept (animal, 
law, whatever) but not an impossible one (contentless 'value'). So 
on the 'plausibility' count I don't think you do much better than 

Sorry to be so far away from grasping your notion of value...

Many thanks,

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