Re: [OPE-L] A startling quotation from Engels

From: Alejandro Agafonow (alejandro_agafonow@YAHOO.ES)
Date: Thu Aug 16 2007 - 06:34:53 EDT

The new thing, at lest for a none-Marxist eye, is the apparent contradiction in Engels’ Preface with has came to be the standard account of Marxist value accounting. Below you can find first the standard account and then its rejection, such as it has been presented by Engels.
Anti-Dühring. Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science, Published: As book, Leipzig 1878). []
«From the moment when society enters into possession of the means of production and uses them in direct association for production, the labour of each individual, however varied its specifically useful character may be, becomes at the start and directly social labour. The quantity of social labour contained in a product need not then be established in a roundabout way; daily experience shows in a direct way how much of it is required on the average. Society can simply calculate how many hours of labour are contained in a steam-engine, a bushel of wheat of the last harvest, or a hundred square yards of cloth of a certain quality. It could therefore never occur to it still to express the quantities of labour put into the products, quantities which it will then know directly and in their absolute amounts, in a third product, in a measure which, besides, is only relative, fluctuating, inadequate, though formerly unavoidable for lack of a better one, rather
 than express them in their natural, adequate and absolute measure, time. […] The useful effects of the various articles of consumption, compared with one another and with the quantities of labour required for their production, will in the end determine the plan. People will be able to manage everything very simply, without the intervention of much-vaunted "value".»
Preface to the First German Edition of The Poverty of Philosophy, []
«To desire, in a society of producers who exchange their commodities, to establish the determination of value by labour time, by forbidding competition to establish this determination of value through pressure on prices in the only way it can be established, is therefore merely to prove that, at least in this sphere, one has adopted the usual utopian disdain of economic laws. […] competition, by bringing into operation the law of value of commodity production in a society of producers who exchange their commodities, precisely thereby brings about the only organisation and arrangement of social production which is possible in the circumstances. Only through the undervaluation or overvaluation of products is it forcibly brought home to the individual commodity producers what society requires or does not require and in what amounts. But it is precisely this sole regulator that the utopia advocated by Rodbertus among others wishes to abolish.»


----- Mensaje original ----
De: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@TISCALI.NL>
Enviado: miércoles, 15 de agosto, 2007 19:42:07
Asunto: [OPE-L] A startling quotation from Engels

Okay I seem to have lost the plot here for a bit. Too much other stuff distracting me. I have no problems with what Engels says here. The market expresses human need through monetarily effective demand, which presupposes you have money in your pocket to express it, which you may not have. If you do not have it, you have a need which you cannot monetarily validate. So what's new?

Sé un Mejor Amante del Cine                         
¿Quieres saber cómo? ¡Deja que otras personas te ayuden!

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Aug 31 2007 - 00:00:10 EDT