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

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Tue May 05 2009 - 11:59:09 EDT

> Dave:
> 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.
Please cite sources here. When was this said, by which authors in the USSR?
> 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.
Why is there exchange?
> 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.
Yes and the result of keeping prices below values was that in Poland the
were empty when I visited there in the mid 80s. This was unlike the
situation in
CSSR at the same time or in Bulgaria.
> 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.
Yes, but how do you calculate?

> In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

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Received on Tue May 5 12:01:34 2009

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