Re: [OPE-L] Marx's Form of Analysis

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Tue Feb 15 2005 - 10:30:29 EST

1. Phil:

> The role of use-value is very wide in Marx.

I agree completely.

At the most abstract level, the reason why there is unity
as well as opposition between use-value and value is
because of  the specific character of  labour-time required
for that relation to represent  value.  I.e. labor-time  must be
socially-necessary for it to be expressed as value.
Socially-necessary labour-time, though, has more
than one meaning:

1.  (conventional meaning) It is the time "required to
produce an article under the normal conditions of
production, and with the average degree of skill and
intensity prevalent at the time."

2.  (additional meaning) for labor-time to actually
count as socially-necessary, the commodity product
must be sold.  For it to be sold, it must have use-
value.  Consequently,  the process whereby value
becomes actual requires the presence of use-value.

2. Hans:

> The private producers have human labour-power at their
> disposal and they have to decide what products to produce
> and what technology to use.

At the risk of stating the obvious --

Within any class society, the producers do not in general
decide what to produce or what technology to use.  These
decisions are made by those with the power to make them:
by capitalists under capitalism, slave-owners under slavery,
feudal lords under feudalism, etc.   The producers only make
these decisions in exceptional circumstances under capitalism:
e.g. in worker-owned producer cooperatives.  Even then,
they have limited power because (unless they own a natural
monopoly) the force of competition will tend to impose choices
on them.

> The market gives them the information necessary to do this
> only if the market participants equate all their commodities
> to one standard, i.e. money

What the producers lack under capitalism is not "the
information necessary"; what they lack is ownership and
control of the means of production. Value can not be
adequately grasped as a specific social relation without
reference to the later stages of Marx's analysis, including
Ch. 6 of Volume 1.

In solidarity, Jerry

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