Re: (OPE-L) Bryan Snyder, "Value, Social Capital, and Trade"

From: Jurriaan Bendien (andromeda246@HETNET.NL)
Date: Sat May 08 2004 - 08:16:23 EDT

Well, Marx did say in 1868 that:

Every child knows that any nation that stopped working, not for a year, but let us say, just for a few weeks, would perish. And every child knows, too, that the amounts of products corresponding to the differing amounts of needs demand differing and quantitatively determined amounts of society's aggregate labour. It is self-evident that this necessity of the distribution of social labour in specific proportions is certainly not abolished by the specific form of social production; it can only change its form of manifestation. Natural laws cannot be abolished at all. The only thing that can change, under historically differing conditions, is the form in which those laws assert themselves. And the form in which this proportional distribution of labour asserts itself in a state of society in which the interconnection of social labour expresses itself as the private exchange of the individual products of labour, is precisely the exchange value of these products.

The real tasks of the grown-ups went beyond what a child could understand, namely:
"Where science comes in is to show how the law of value asserts itself. So, if one wanted to 'explain' from the outset all phenomena that apparently contradict the law, one would have to provide the science before the science. It is precisely Ricardo's mistake that in his first chapter, on value, all sorts of categories that still have to be arrived at are assumed as given, in order to prove their harmony with the law of value." (Ibid.).

The challenge is then to move Marxists from an infantile position to a mature position in economics.

In Snyder's article, I think the concept of a "transfer of value" is not really satisfactorily explained. But then, most Marxists cannot explain it either.


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