[OPE-L:3671] Re: "Labor Theory of Value"--not used by Marx!

Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Thu, 14 Nov 1996 17:05:16 -0800 (PST)

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Re Jerry's query about:

>(2) Related to Marx: when did he ever refer to a component part of *his*
>analysis (as distinct from the theories he critiqued) as a "theory"?

Perhaps the closest that Marx comes to this is his critique of Wagner's
interpretation of Vol I of Capital. Two apposite excerpts are

"Herr Wagner ... understands by a general theory of value a
musing over the word `value', which enables him to stick with the
traditional German academic confusion of `use-value' and `value',
since both have the word `value' in common." (p. 184.)


"On the other hand, the obscurantist has overlooked that my
analysis of the commodity does not stop at the dual mode in which
the commodity is presented, [but] presses forward [so] that in
the dual nature of the commodity there is presented the twofold
*character* of *labour*, whose product it is:
*useful* labour, i.e., the concrete modes of labour, which
create use values, and abstract *labour, labour as the
expenditure of labour-power*,... that *surplus value*
itself is derived from a `specific' *use-value of
labour-power* which belongs to it exclusively etc etc., that
hence with me use value plays an important role completely
different than [it did]] in previous [political] economy, but
that, *nota bene*, it only comes into the picture where such
consideration [of value, use value, etc.] springs from the
analysis of given economic forms, not from helter-skelter
quibbling over the concepts or words `use-value' and
`value'." ( p. 200.)

"analysis" and "theory" are I think reasonable similes here.

The cites are from T. Carver, , *Karl Marx: Texts on Method*, Basil
Blackwell, Oxford, 1975.

Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
University of Western Sydney
PO Box 555 Campbelltown NSW 2560
s.keen@uws.edu.au (046) 20-3254 Fax (046) 26-6683