[OPE] Brecht and value-form theory

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Fri Mar 20 2009 - 03:20:01 EDT


Consider a satellite orbiting the earth. Does it cancel out the law of gravity? Does it cancel out Newton's and Kepler's laws of motion?

Part of the difficulty we have in this discussion concerns the ambiguity of what a causal law is (cf. Mario Bunge, Causality and Modern Science, revised edition 2008).

Marx never said or meant that a capitalist economy was "governed" or "ruled" by the law of value, that is a Marxist misinterpretation. He did not propose that the law of value was itself an economic equilibrium principle governing markets. In Marx's theory, markets do not constitute or create economic equilibrium (this is a Smithian fiction, which is essentially a reification or fetish).

Marx's real argument is that the longrun dynamic of capitalist production, through all the ups and downs of the conjuncture, is chiefly the outcome of how its central structural contradiction is specifically mediated, namely the contradiction of the law of value (exchange regulated by the relative and absolute labour-content of products) and the law of competition (exchange regulated by the extraction of maximum profit).

It is not possible for the law of value to regulate a whole capitalist economy anyway, if capitalist production is only a minor component of the total capital placements.

Unfortunately, four generations of Marxists were mainly miseducated about this. But even a 93% Ricardian LTV already has more empirical credibility than its rival explanations of product markets.


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Received on Fri Mar 20 03:22:19 2009

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