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

Date: Tue May 05 2009 - 08:56:05 EDT

> If one follows the slogan to "abolish value", an advocate of a socialist
> economy faces a general economic problem: How to measure the cost of
> good and services and how to allocate social labour with some degree of
> efficiency?

A demand to "abolish value" is the same as a demand to abolish capitalist
social relations of production.
To make social decisions - and, in the process, evaluating how resources
should be allocated - does not require a theory of value. Evaluation and
valuation do not translate into a theory of value - despite the superficial
linguistic similarity.
You will recall that in the USSR they rather explicitly said, after a
certain point, that resources would be allocated according to a labor
theory of value. Is that the model and historical experience we want to
emulate? I think not.
There are legitimate social reasons in a socialist society for unequal
exchange: to discourage the consumption of certain goods and to encourage
the consumption of other goods.
Do you recall what happened in the 80's when successive governments in
Poland tried to increase the price of bread because it was 'artificially
low'? Each time there was a riot which was severe enough to bring about a
change in administration.
Building a socialist society isn't about using a theory of value
for allegedly progressive purposes; it's about workers' control of
decision-making and society on all levels.
In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Tue May 5 08:58:36 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun May 31 2009 - 00:00:03 EDT