Re: OPE-L: is value labour?

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu May 08 2003 - 05:07:10 EDT

Asfilho@AOL.COM wrote:

> I think that the critical difference lies in the fact that Ricardo tries to
> calculate/explain prices (the two things are not clearly distinguished in his
> analysis) by counting hours of (concrete) labour regardless of the social
> form of labour (this is shown in Paul C's citation of Ricardo, included in a
> recent message to the list).
> In contrast, Marx is concerned with the social relations between the
> producers and the members of society more generally, the mode of labour
> associated with these social relations (i.e., the mode of production of the
> material conditions of social reproduction), and the reason why in a
> historically specific society, capitalism, produced commodities take the form
> of values and have prices. Marx is not therefore worried with the calculation
> of prices or the determination of the price system - he seeks to explain the
> social forms of values and prices instead. This makes Marx's 'value'
> fundamentally different from Ricardo's.

I think you over state this. Marx was interested in the determination of the
price system, but he was also interested in the social forms and in their
transitory character. The effort Marx put into theorising prices of
production indicates that he was interested in prices. He was attempting
a theory that was more general than Ricardo's, without repudiating the
key components of Ricardo's theory.

> Alfredo.

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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