[OPE-L:2757] Re: Marxian empirical research

Michael Williams (100417.2625@compuserve.com)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 10:49:06 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C wrote some time ago:
We take the position that the problems that one has in understanding a
lower mode of production can be solved if you consider the more advanced form
that succeeds it. Thus to understand value and abstract labour properly you
must as Marx often did, consider the matter from the standpoint of a future
communistic society.

Our initial analysis of the problem of how to define abstract labour is thus
from the context of how a socialist planned economy could perform its
calculation in terms of labour. One can then look back at capitalism and
understand to what extent the same things appear there in fetishistic form.

Michael W:
I can see no scientific basis for basing our account of the actual present upon
a speculative future. Kernel of partial truth here is, of course, the notion
that the systemic whole within which each element is to be located includes its
history and its possible futures. To the extent that fetishisation has any
forward looking import, it lies in this clouding of possibilities immanent in
developments from present social forms.

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"