[OPE-L:1188] Alan and Gerard

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Thu, 22 Feb 1996 08:03:43 -0800

[ show plain text ]

Alan [960221] quotes Gerard:

"- Marx generally assumes that commodity exchange at their values.
This is the case in Volume I and Volume II (for example in the
analysis of reproduction schemes), but also in volume III (for example
in some of his developments related to the falling profit rate,
although not in all). I agree with Duncan: this is a simplifying

and suggests that this is an instance of the proposition which, as I thought,
had been "laid to rest" in previous discussions. Indeed, he "looks forward
to my reproof of" Gerard.

That's not the way I see it. I agree with Gerard's statement. The
proposition I was objecting to was not simply, "Marx assumes price-value
equivalence for much of the argument of Capital" (whether as a
simplification, a pedagogical device, or whatever), but rather, that Marx's
_definition of value_ (labour-time required to produce a commodity) somehow
_builds in_ the assumption of p-v equivalence, in such a way that if one
relaxes that assumption the definition falls apart, becomes incoherent or
irrelevant. I'm not sure how I can make my view any clearer. Perhaps this
way: Suppose we're analysing a particular physical argument that involves,
among other things, an appeal to f=ma. It is one thing to ask: In the course
of this argument, does its author make the assumption of zero friction? It
is entirely another to ask: Does the equation f=ma itself presuppose zero
friction? Substitute v=Av+l and you have the idea (I hope!).