[OPE-L:2232] Re: testing marx

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Wed, 15 May 1996 13:42:09 -0700

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At 08:56 15/05/96 -0700, Duncan K Foley wrote:
>On Wed, 15 May 1996, Paul Cockshott wrote:
>(among other things)
>> At the time we wrote it, we were unaware that there was a body
>> of opinion that disputed that Marx had a labour theory of value.
>I think it is very important to be careful about language on this point,
>because the phrase "labor theory of value" means different things to
>different people. To Ricardo and to most of the 20th century critics and
>commentators on Marx, the LTV meant "an embodied labor coefficients theory
>of relative prices". To some people (Rubin, Rosdolsky, for example) the
>LTV meant the claim that labor was the substance of value in the sense of
>the total money value produced. Obviously people on one side of this
>debate are going to be upset if people on the other appropriate the term
>LTV to mean their interpretation without any qualification.

Paul C
Whilst there may be some finer points of emphasis on which Rubin differs
from other commentators on Marx, I had understood him to put forward
a fairly straightforward labour theory of value:

'The value of commodities is directly proportional to the quantity of
labour necessary for their production.'

'The exchange of two different commodities according to their values
corresponds to the state of equilibrium among two given branches
of production'
(Essays on Marx's Theory of Value, p65)

I would class this as a fairly orthodox account of Marx's value

What surprised me was to find on the Marxism net last year that
there were numerous people who hotly contested the idea that Marx
had had a labour theory of value.

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)