RE: [OPE] value-form theory redux

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Thu Mar 19 2009 - 05:21:52 EDT

On Wed, 2009-03-18 at 20:58 +0000, Philip Dunn wrote:
> On Tue, 2009-03-17 at 22:38 +0000, Paul Cockshott wrote:
> > What I am meaning is that Mises argued that without money there can be no comparison of
> > economic alternatives, no rational economic calculation. Mises argued that against the
> > possibility of socialist economy saying that a non monetary economy would descend into
> > economic chaos because it would be unable to do economic calculation.
> >
> > If Marx actually believed what you said 'Money, as a measure of
> > value, is the necessary form of appearance of the immanent measure of
> > value, namely,labour time.' Then Marx's well known political support for communism would
> > be incomprehensible. If he thought that value could only be measured in terms of money,
> > why did he advocate a programme for communism in which money would be abolished and
> > replaced by labour accounts?
> >
> The gulf here seems completely unbridgeable. When I quoted that sentence
> from Marx, I automatically assumed it was intended to apply only to
> capitalism and foolishly imagined that no-one would think otherwise.

But Philip, you must be aware that this issue of value and economic
calculation under socialism was one of the major theoretical issues
discussed in by marxist theorists in the eastern block from the 50s on!

> Let me be a little autobiographical. I started working on value theory
> in 1984. 16 years later I had hit the wall. I asked myself who I was
> doing this for when, in fact, I had stopped doing anything.
> As it happened I then came into contact with work others were doing. I
> was initially quite resistant to it, but I tried to understand it rather
> than dismissing it. Dogmatism is unavoidable when pursuing a research
> project - the cost is high so one must be convinced one is right.
> However, there can come a time when the difficult task of opening one's
> mind to the thought of others is a "growth experience".
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Received on Thu Mar 19 05:23:40 2009

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