[OPE-L] A few more short quotes illustrating Marx's own view of the substance and form of value

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sun Aug 19 2007 - 09:21:02 EDT

Our analysis has shown, that the form or expression of the value of a
commodity originates in the nature of value, and not that value and its
magnitude originate in the mode of their expression as exchange value.

In all states of society, the labour time that it costs to produce the means
of subsistence, must necessarily be an object of interest to mankind, though
not of equal interest in different stages of development

It is one of the chief failings of classical economy that it has never
succeeded, by means of its analysis of commodities, and, in particular, of
their value, in discovering that form under which value becomes exchange
value. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm#S3a4

In other words, the origin and essence of value according to Marx has
nothing directly to do with economic exchange (trade) as such, but with the
fact that the products are the products of human labour as such, and can be
socially recognised in this way. It is just that economic exchange sharpens
up, conventionalises and objectifies what that value is, to the point where
value relations gained an independent existence.

Again, this insight appears a trivial subtlety but it has a major effect on
how you understand the so-called "transformation problem". For Marx, value
and value relations exist regardless of price and price relations, because
an economy of labour-time exists, regardless of price and price relations.
Labour-time can be economised only on the basis that it has a value, but
that value can exist irrespective of whether commodity-trade occurs or not.


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