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

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sun May 03 2009 - 17:53:50 EDT

Paul B
  The 'mixed' economy we saw in Britain
before Thatcher was a capitalist economy seeking growth and social stability
in a particular way. Socialism is a much bigger issue (although of course
nationalisation will be a key step in the transformation of society).

The purpose of a socialist society is to remove the operation of the law of
value, and replace it with simple politica/moral choices about the
allocation of labour ( given its levels of productivity etc). The suspension
of the 'law of value' is already quite correctly seen in the first drafts of
the Venezuelan Constitution, so I don't feel stuck with 'Victorianism' at
all. We canot allow the notions of 'equal' exchange to shape the future.

Paul C
I dont really understand this special attention being given to Venezuela
from the standpoint of understanding socialist economy.

As an example of socialist economic institutions Venezuela is less developed than
for example the DDR or the CSSR were, and the debate on the role of value in the
economy in Venzuela is, from what I can read on the Venezuelan websites, far
less sophisticated than what was being debated in the CSSR in the mid 60s.

 The combination of production relations in Venezuela is not greatly
different from those of the UK under labour governments in the 1970s,
with the exception of the large state rentier income from oil in the
Venezuelan case. Venezuela is currently a country with a social democratic
government whose policies remain within the historical ambit of social
democracy. It seems radical now, because such social democracy has
not been seen for some time. Only time will tell whether there will be
a shift to a non monetary planned economy there. Whilst I would lend
such support as I can to such a transition, I would not be too sure that
it is going to happen._______________________________________________
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Received on Sun May 3 17:58:54 2009

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