[OPE-L:1957] Re: value-form theories

Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Sun, 19 Dec 1999 15:42:44 -0500 (EST)

Re Chris's [OPE-L:1956]:

> A very interesting point: but I agree with Andy, not Jerry. The crucial
> passage is C1 pp.152-3 where Marx says it was wrong to counterpose
> use/exchange v., it should have been use-value v. value.

I take Marx's point to be that the relation *behind* EV is value. Thus, he
refers to EV as the "form of manifestation" of value.

At issue is not so much what EV means, but what value itself refers to.
When Marx refers to *socially-necessary* labor in his understanding of
what constitutes value he has put forward a category in which UV is
presumed. Thus, in *deriving* the category of value, he must look "beyond"
or "behind" EV (the form of appearance of V). Yet, the category of value
represents a category that can only be seen as a dialectical unity of the
categories of UV and EV in which a commodity has UV, V, and its V is
expressed as quantity through the value-form.

> Exchange
> value is the form in which the abstract opposition of UV and V is brought
> into a dialectical interchnge of these determinations.

If that were the case, then he would have derived EV from the more
"abstract" categories of UV and V. But, instead he derived V only after a
consideration of the opposition between UV and the value-form. And it is
one of Marx's major criticisms of Ricardo that he was not able to see
behind EV to understand value and, thereby, R identified EV with V.

There may be a dispute among value-form theorists here. E.g. see Tony
Smith _The Logic of Marx's Capital: Replies to Hegelian Criticisms_
(Albany, SUNY Press, 1990), pp. 71-72. There, Tony refers to a
"dialectical unity of use-value and exchange-value" (not a unity of UV
and V) and notes that "Socially necessary labor is that which has
produced commodities for which there is consumer demand".

Thus (I am speaking now) UV and EV exists as moments in the realization
of V.

Do you disagree with Tony's presentation?

In solidarity, Jerry

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