[OPE-L:6495] Re: Re: N. Sieber

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Fri Feb 01 2002 - 08:56:55 EST

Paul Z's 6473
>>4) Sieber's first substantial 'interpretive' comment is that "Labour is
>>itself value, Marx says". But Marx does not!! Sieber then draws the
>>logical conclusion that value and abstract labour are ahistorical and
>>asocial categories; only exchange value is the specific form of their
>>appearance in commodity society. Unlike later Marxists Sieber had the
>>excuse that he was working from the first edition. Marx subsequently
>>inserted the sentence 'Labour is not itself value".
>    The full text of the 4th English edition rendered into English in the
>Progress edition is:
>    "Human labour-power in motion, or human labour, creates value, but is
>not itself value. It becomes value only in its congealed state, when
>embodied in the form of some object. In order to express the value of the
>linen as a congelation of human labour, that value must be expressed as
>having objective existence, as being a something materially different from
>the linen itself, and yet a something common to the linen and all other
>commodities. The problem is already solved."
>    I'd like to get to the bottom of when "not itself value" was introduced
>by Marx.  Also, I'm cc'ing James White and David Smith to see if Sieber
>corrected himself in his later expanded 1885 work (Chris Arthur would like
>to know this also.)
Just to be clear, there are two issues.
1. Substantive: Marx never ever thought labour is value. I have been
reading Marx for 40 years and never came across this, only in so-called
marxist writing.
2. Textual. When and where did Marx cover himself against such a
misintrepretation and why. I throw in another quote, from the 1861-63 Ms.
'Labour as process, in actu, is the substance and measure of value, not
value. Only as objectified labour is it value.' (MECW 34 p. 71).
And, of course the context makes it clear he means objectified in a commodity.

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