[OPE-L:2233] Re: testing marx

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Wed, 15 May 1996 14:32:45 -0700

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:2232]:

> 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.

What is at issue, I believe, is the extent to which Marx's understanding
of value differs from the Ricardian theory of value. The idea that Marx's
concept of value was not LTV was advanced by Raya Dunayevskaya (I'm sure
Andrew would be willing to elaborate) and, in a different form, by Diane
Elson in her article in Diane Elson ed. _Value: The Representation of
Labour under Capitalism_ (London, CSE Books, 1979).

As for the quantitative determination of value, I believe that the
distinction between individual/concrete and social/abstract labor has
relevance. Also in question is whether value creation can be reduced to
and discerned at the micro level or whether it can only be calculated on
the aggregate level. I am especially concerned that we don't confuse
value transfers among capitalists with value creation. When we focus on
firms in individual branches of production the social/aggregate dimension
of value can be obscured.

In OPE-L Solidarity,