[OPE-L:633] Re: Order of enquiry and critique

Paul Zarembka (ECOPAULZ@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu)
Sun, 3 Dec 1995 06:02:17 -0800

[ show plain text ]

Fred, in answer to the below, if I were to say that Marx did not use the
labor "theory" of value, but the "law" of value, and that that "law" of
value has a similar character as Newton's "law" of gravity, what would
you say? I.e., gravity has never been "proven" to exist. It is rather a
very useful concept for organizing the study of the fall of objects,

Is not value similar? If it is similar, then in reading Marx you
can take value as kind of a proposition or assumption and begin reading
after Part I, then come back to what you can learn from Part I. Is not
taking value in another wage leading to dogmatism?

Paul Zarembka

On Mon, 27 Nov 1995, Fred Moseley wrote:

> Paul Z. has suggested that a study of CAPITAL should begin with Part 2 or
> Part 3 of Volume 1 because the essence of CAPITAL is the capital - wage
> labor relation. He asks: why is it logically necessary to begin with Part 1?
> My quick answer is:
> 1. Chapter 1 presents the labor theory of value (LTV), the fundamental
> assumption upon which the rest of Marx's theory is based. Marx's
> explanation of surplus-value in Part 3 is based on the LTV presented in Part 1.
> 2. Chapter 1 also derives money as the necessary form of appearance of
> abstract labor. Chapter 4 then defines capital in terms of money - as money
> which becomes more money (M - C -M'). The title of Part 2 is "The
> Transformation of MONEY into Capital." Thus, Marx's theory of capital in
> Part 2 and beyond is based on his theory of money presented in Part 1.
> In sum, Part 1 is a necesssary logical preliminary to the analysis of
> capital and surplus-vaue beginning in Part 2. I do not understand how one
> could start with Part 2 without this necessary preliminary. Maybe one could
> begin with Chapter 4 for pedagogical reasons, because Chapter 1 is so
> difficult, but not for logical, substantial reasons, which I assume is the
> issue here.
> Fred Moseley