[OPE-L:6316] RE: Re: Re: recent science and society and Fred M's interpretation

From: Mongiovi Gary (mongiovg@stjohns.edu)
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 16:59:21 EST

But Rakesh, surely it is possible to have class conflict, exploitation, 
realization crises, imperialism, financial meltdowns and all of the other 
problems one associates with capitalism -- WITHOUT subscribing to Marx's 
labor value analysis.

Debates about value theory are endless, of course. And they start with 
disagreements about precisely what it consists of.  Let's leave all of that 

What I find disconcerting about the assertion that one must accept the LTV 
in order to qualify as a Marxist is that it comes very close to saying that 
if the LTV isn't sound, Marx has nothing fundamental to offer.  I think 
that's wrong, mainly because most of his analysis about the stuff I 
mentioned in the first paragraph holds up.

I also think it turns Marxism into a church to say that one must accept 
this or that doctrine to qualify for the label "Marxist," and that can only 
hurt its long-run prospects as an account of social reality.

In the end, of course, it doesn't matter whether this or that label is 
attached to what anyone thinks.  What matters is how well  a particular 
theory of how the world works meshes with the way the world actually does 
work.  I would argue that Marx gets high marks on that criterion, and he 
scores them without the LTV.


-----Original Message-----
From:	Rakesh Bhandari [SMTP:rakeshb@stanford.edu]
Sent:	Tuesday, January 15, 2002 4:05 PM
To:	ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Subject:	[OPE-L:6315] Re: Re: recent science and society and Fred M's 

>Rakesh writes, among other things,
>>Why Laibman insists that he is a Marxist
>>after repudiating the labor theory of value escapes me, but I digress.
>Why is it necessary to embrace the labor theory of value in order to be a

it is nice to hear from you. no matter how i much disagree with
you--and boy do I disagree with you--I am am happy when someone of
your intellectual acuity turns his eyes on Marxian theory

I would hope that there are many answers to your question, Gil.

My first answer is simple and predictable: if the average rate of
profit is not ultimately determined by labor time relations, then
capitalism cannot give rise to those contradictions in the process of
production that Marx, as a materialist, thought were the precondition
for the revolutionary activity of the only the subject that Marx
thought had even the latent power to actually effect a transition in
the mode of production--the working class.

But as I said I am anxious to hear other answers. It would be great
if Tony Smith appeared on this list--to write about Lakatos' and hard


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