RE: [OPE] Understanding value (reply to Michael Heinrich)

Date: Sun May 03 2009 - 02:42:26 EDT


You mentioned what "he' (Marx) made clear from the very beginning
of _Capital_.

> No Jerry, products of labour (Cap. 1, p. 166 et seq, Penguin ed.).

The Book: _Capital: A Critique of Political Economy_,
Volume One: "The Process of Capitalist Production".

Chaper 1, The Commodity.

Section 1 of Chapter 1: The Two Factors of the Commodity: Use-Value and
Value (Substance of Value, Magnitude of Value).

The first sentence of Chapter 1: "The wealth of societies in which the
capitalist mode of production prevails is an 'immense collection of
commodities'; the individual commodity appears as its elementary

The first paragraph of the first sentence of Ch. 1 concludes:
"Our investigation therefore begins with the analysis of
the commodity."

The very page you cite is in a section on ... yes, you guessed it,
... the commodity (Section 4: The Festishism of the Commodity and
its Secret").

When he talks about value he is referring to the value of commodities,
not products of human labor in general.


> from the very beginning Marx makes it clear that commodities are
> products of labour.

Well, duh, of course they are.

But, *value* is a category which was derived by that author from
the analysis of the *commodity*, not products of human labor in

Not once did he ever say that whereever there are products of labor
there is also value.
Not once.

But, I'll stop here for five reasons:

(1) I don't want to be repetitive. I had only wanted to underscore an
area of disagreement previously - that's why I made such a short

(2) I don't want to engage in sterile Maxological debates on this
issue. What concerns me is how we conceive of the subject matter,
not what "he" said.

(3) I don't want to hear another silly tirade about "The New Marxist
Exploiting Class, the bureaucrat class", "the Marxist intellectual
tyrant class","ignorant Marxist academics", ad nauseum.

(5) If after all this rime you can't grasp how the categories which
are constituent of the commodity are all wedded to each other in the
commodity-form, then I'm not going to waste my time educating you
about it again.
Only those who wish to apply the concept of value to socialism will,
possibly, find comfort in your formulations.
We'll just have to agree to disagree.

In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Sun May 3 02:44:45 2009

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