Re: [OPE-L] Question

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Apr 14 2007 - 07:04:04 EDT

> In any case, here is a short excerpt from the
> paper that shows where Jerry might be coming from and
> why it does not work (I have taken one interpretation
> here but all other interpretation would fail in a
> similar way):
> Another strategy of relating labor to commodity
> exchange ratios is provided in Marx's famous letter of
> July 11, 1868, to Ludwig Kugelmann. In this letter
> Marx writes,
> . All that palaver about the necessity of proving the
> concept of value comes from complete ignorance both of
> the subject dealt with and of scientific method. Every
> child knows that a nation which ceased to work, I will
> not say for a year, but even for a few weeks, would
> perish. Every child knows, too, that the volume of
> products corresponding to the different needs require
> different and quantitatively determined amounts of the
> total labour of society. That this necessity of the
> distribution of social labour in definite proportions
> cannot possibly be done away with by a particular form
> of social production but can only change the mode of
> its appearance, is self-evident. Natural laws cannot
> be abolished at all. What can change in historically
> different circumstances is only the form in which
> these laws assert themselves. And the form in which
> this proportional distribution of labour asserts
> itself, in a social system where the interconnection
> of social labour manifests itself through the private
> exchange of individual products of labour, is
> precisely the exchange value of these products. (Marx
> and Engels 1982, 196).
> This letter has been invoked most frequently in the
> defense of Marx's 'labor theory of value'.
> Unfortunately the meaning of the passage quoted above
> is not "self-evident".

Hi Ajit:

I'm sorry:  I hadn't replied to a few of your recent messages.
Basically, I think that we've been talking about different things.
Actually, I agree that the reasoning suggested by Marx in his
1868 letter to Kugelmann isn't very persuasive.  Since I am
not relying on such (trans-historical) reasoning,  I didn't feel
the need previously to respond.  From my perspective, the role
of value for capitalism can not be deduced from the nature of
labor in all modes of production.

btw, I haven't forgotten about our numerical (i.e. numbered
proposition) exchange.  I'll get back to it ... eventually.

In solidarity, Jerry

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