Re: [OPE] Reply to the thinker

From: Michael Schauerte <>
Date: Thu Mar 12 2009 - 21:12:16 EDT

Jurriaan, Marx's theory of the value-form is not half (or a millionth) as
mystical as you make it out to be!

He starts with a simple fact: commodities have prices. That is to say, we
know that the value of commodities is expressed in money. His theory of the
value-form explains *how value is expressed*. He does so by tracing his way
back from the price-form (or money-form) which anyone can see, to the
simplest form of value. This is necessary because only in that form does it
become crystal clear that the (intrinsic) value of one commodity is
expressed in the use-value of another commodity. In other words, the
commodity seeking to express its own value posits that other commodity as
the embodiment of value (or *Wertkörper*) . In explaining the mechanism of
the expression of value (how the intrinsic value of a commodity is, and only
can be, expressed using some other commodity), Marx effectively unravels the
"riddle of money," showing that the strange power of money is not the result
of some physical attribute, but rather emerges from that relationship of

I wish you would be more precise in your criticism of value-form theory,
rather than making so many sweeping statements. What is it about that
explanation of how value is expressed do you object to? (Incidentally, much
of your criticism of the theory of the value-form seems to be aimed rather
at the labor theory of value that Marx briefly explains in Sec. 1).

Do you think, as an experiment perhaps, you could respond in a concise way
and not get swept away by your own rhetoric? I'm an office slave and don't
have enough time (even if I had the stomach for it) to read rambling e-mails
full of vague criticism and outrageous generalizations.

So come on, dear Jurriaan, don't be a git
"Brevity", we all know, "is the soul of wit"


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Received on Thu Mar 12 21:17:18 2009

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