[OPE-L:1407] RE: Gil and Mike's Surprising Agreement

Michael A. Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Sun, 10 Mar 1996 14:03:29 -0800

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I have 4 posts from Gil to which I should respond, concerning the
questions posed about Chapters 5 and 6, capitalist exploitation without the
capitalist mode of production, value-theoretic vs historical-strategic
arguments,etc. There are still differences, the more important of which I'll
indicate. However, I think they pale at this time beside our agreement.
So, I would like now to find out specifically how other people on this
list feel about that agreement. Does everyone agree that Marx did *not*
establish a case proceeding logically from (A) the concept of capital
(M-C-M') to (B) the buying of labour-power--- in the sense that one *must*
proceed from A to B rather than one *may*?

(I think this captures what we agree upon--- although we may differ over
where exactly the logical leap occurred and how important the lapse is. To
jog your collective memory, I'll remind you that I argued that if this was
true we could not say that capitalist relations of production are implicit
in the commodity--- because they require historically specific conditions
which are not implicit in the commodity.)

If you *don't* agree, please explain to Gil and me exactly what the
logical argument is--- so we don't go on from here to even greater errors
(if that's possible). It is the comradely thing to do, no?
I'll let Gil have the last word on this:

> [Mike considers our agreement on this point "surprising". To the
> contrary, I'm surprised that more listmates have not
> accepted this point. I mean, an invalid argument is an invalid argument,
> no matter what you think about Marx's method, the value of money,
> or the connection between total prices and total values.]
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office: (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
Home: (604) 255-0382
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e-mail: mlebowit@sfu.ca