Re: is value labour?

From: Cyrus Bina (binac@MRS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Wed May 07 2003 - 14:33:04 EDT


Bravo!  That's the question.  Just like: "to be, or not to be"!!



----- Original Message -----
From: <Asfilho@AOL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 8:45 AM
Subject: is value labour?

> I seem to remember that we have already been through this issue years ago,
> this list.
> My comment, below, draws on Ben Fine's "Marx's Capital", 3rd ed, 1989, p.6
> 4th edition is currently in preparation, by Ben and myself, and it will be
> launched later this year by Pluto Press):
> Marx develops the labour theory of value from Smith and, especially,
> But what is Marx's own contribution - the difference between his writings
> those of Ricardo? The difference is that, for Marx, it is insufficient to
> base the source of value on labour time of production, as Ricardo
> Thus, "value is labour" is not so much wrong as Ricardian - for Marx, this
> claim is partial and potentially misleading.
> The trouble with such Ricardian views as "value is labour" is that they
> for granted the existence of exchange, prices and commodities. That
> commodities are worth more because they embody more labour begs the
> of *why there are commodities at all*, and *why it is a relevant
> to assume, at certain stages in the analysis, that commodities exchange at
> their labour time of production*.
> This illustrates an important feature of Marx's method: what the
> (including Ricardo) tend to assume as timeless features of humans and
> societies, Marx wanted to root out and understand in historical context.
> Alfredo.

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