Re: [OPE-L] The HM [Haunted and Mysterious] Conference

From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Wed Oct 26 2005 - 16:50:32 EDT

You wrote:
"Replying to Andy B:

*Even if* capital is "undead",  workers are not like
those who have been bitten by vampires.  Don't you
see why?"
This seems to be a different point of yours and yes a good one in the sense that workers don't become values after being exploited like people become vampires after being bitten. I had thought that your previous point was that the use of the word 'undead' is problematic and was responding to that - maybe I misread you meaning, maybe by 'undead' you had in mind the point I can now see that you raise here. However, the disanalogy you raise should not obscure the key points where the analogy picks out an isomoprhism, to the extent of being almost inevitable. What is real and not metaphorical is:
(1) The existence of something utterly non-sensuous, viz. value. It is this 'quality' that value literally shares with ghosts (though ghosts are fictional which adds plenty more philosophical spice to the mix!);
(2) The active existence of something that 'should' be inherently inactive, viz. expended labour as value; it is this that value shares with vampires, only more so, since just like vampires, value (expended, i.e. dead, labour) feeds on living labour. (Yes vampires are fictional too).
You also wrote of a 'tension' between:
"those who advocate "embodied" and/or "congealed"
interpretations of value and others who resist those interpretations,
including value-form theorists."

If you have in mind my own rendition of 'congealed' then the above statement is incorrect because you can no more lump my view in with embodied labour view than with value-form theory. My view lies in between the other two, to put it rather too crudely.  
Many thanks,


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