[OPE-L:8311] Re: Re: Milios et al, "Karl Marx and the Classics"

From: rakeshb@stanford.edu
Date: Sat Jan 11 2003 - 13:34:15 EST

I don't whether you agree with me or not. I do not have your book 
with me, and have only limited access to email. 

Quoting jmilios@hol.gr in 8295:

> No, I think that we know what surplus value is (the specifically
> capitalist 
> type of surplus labour, more exactly, the notion of a historically
> specific 
> social relation of exploitation which manifests itself as profit [not
> as 
> tribute, feudal compulsory labour, etc.]) which CAN BE 
> (empirically) 
> only on the level of its form of appearance (in monetary units). 

Everything changes as to the dynamcs of the system when the 
surplus is fundamentally appropriated in the value form, i.e., as 
alienated labor objectified in commodities which have to be sold 
for money, as opposed to taken as direct labor services, rent in 
kind, money rent or taxes.  In order to specify capital's laws of 
motion, Marx took over Richard Jones' comparative historical 
framework of the forms of rent and specified capitalism in relation 
to them, e.g. cottier, metayer rents.  To me Marx's emphasis on the 
form of the surplus stems first and foremost not from 
philosophers such as Aristotle or Hegel but from the historical and 
evolutionary materialist Jones whose influence on Marx has 
generated no where the interest as Hegel's or Aristotle's.  I think 
the value form school is much too philosophical; following Fred, 
Alfredo, and others, I also do not accept the breaking by some 
value form theorists of the quantitative linkage  between unpaid 
labor time and surplus value as it appears phenomenally as profit, 
interest and rent.  Neither the transformation problem nor the 
redundancy charge is in my opinion a good enough reason to 
sever the link between labor time and economic magnitudes.  
Marx's value theory is both qualitiative (it specifies the historical 
specifity of capitalism and lays out the necessity of money) and 
quantitative (it provides a theory of the movement of economic 

Yours, Rakesh

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