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

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 08:40:00 EST


I'm not sure how to go about replying without being
repetitive.  I'll say the following for now: for products
of labor to have an exchange value which is expressed in money
and for that exchange value to have a 'rough correspondence'
to labour time does not constitute the entire range of social
relations associated with value.  Value's constitutive (that word
again!) form is associated not merely with labor time but with
SNLT and  _abstract labour_, which I do _not_ view as a
trans-historical category.  The "social relations" of value
constitute specific social relations of production and class
relations.  What is sometimes viewed as a transhistorical
topic, I view as a subject specific to the nature of capitalism.
I also believe that the subject of _Capital_, beginning with the
very first sentence of Ch. 1 of Volume 1, is capitalism.  The
theory of value as initially presented in Ch. 1 can not be
understood separate from a recognitions that capitalism is
indeed the subject and that the theory of value is not
explained only in Ch. 1 -- rather the dialectic of value constitutes
the thread that runs throughout _all_ of _Capital_. This
means, in part, that Marx's theory of value can not be
divorced from his theory of surplus value and the purchase
and sale of labour-power as a commodity.

In solidarity, Jerry

>  But I disagree with you (and I think
> others on this list) if you say value as a category can only
> be grasped if there is wage labor.  Say in a situation where
> all commodities that can be purchased in a society are
> produced by private producers who own their means of
> production, then
> (a) you will probably have a rough correspondence between
> exchange values and labor time (although this probably
> depends very much on it how easy it is for the producers to
> change between different lines of production, and I would
> also expect that there is a strong conventional element to
> both prices and production methods),
> (b) but with much higher certainty I would assume that there
> is money
> and (c) I would also expect that some people hoard money.
> All these are effects of the social relation "value".

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