[OPE-L:113] Value and exploitation [was "the law of value"]

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Fri, 22 Sep 1995 15:14:26 -0700

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Gil seems to think that the purpose of Marx's understanding of value was
to explain the origins of surplus value. Gil goes on to suggest that
surplus value can be explained without reference to the "law of value."

Like Gil, I don't want to initiate a long debate on this subject now.
However, I do *not* think that Marx understood that the purpose of
analysing the two-fold nature of the commodity (including use-value,
value, and the value-form) was only to explain the origins of surplus
value. I see this subject as a thread which Marx attempts to continue when
analysing other issues at subsequent stages of abstraction.

If we find the dialectic of the commodity to be useful in terms of
explaining other subjects, then one issue (it seems to me) is to see how
this dialectic expresses itself when examining future topics.

If Gil were to say that Marx did not adequately explain the connection of
this dialectic to some other topics, then I would have to agree with him.
However, I would ask, as we continue, whether Marx's understanding of
value has explanatory power for other issues that we go on to identify at
more concrete stages of abstraction.

In OPE-L solidarity,