[OPE-L:1991] Re: Aristotle's Economic Thought

C. J. Arthur (cjarthur@pavilion.co.uk)
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 14:34:12 +0000

Scott Meikle is indeed a serious scholar. he is limited by his
Aristotelianism (I do not think he really understands Hegel) but does good
work within that framework.
I especially recommend his paper in *The Cambridge Companion to Marx* ed.
T. Carver.
While I am about it may I point out that Marx is grossly unfair to
Aristotle. He fault s him for failing to discover the "substance" of value,
and ascribes this to ideological prejudice agaist equality. This is to put
the cart before the horse.
When Aristotle was writing there was no "substance" of value in Marx's
sense; the value form was empty as Aristotle had to admit. Such capital as
existed was largely merchant K; I do not think capitalist factories in our
sense existed. capital was invested in mines but these were worked by slave
Two thousand years later commodity-capitalist relations became hegemonic
and two things happen: 1) the value form acquires a "substance"; 2)
'Equality' becomes a popular prejudice flowing from the dominance of the
structure of caommodity-exchange subjects.

>I've been reading a very interesting book, Aristotle's Economic Thought, by
>Scott Meikle (Clarendon Press of Oxford University Press, 1995: ISBN
>Meikle is very well-read in Marx and carefully relates Aristotle's texts to
>Marx and Marx to Aristotle. Two very interesting points he makes are that
>Aristotle is the source of the C-M-C' versus M-C-M' distinction, and that
>Marx's discussion of the dialectic between use value and exchange value is
>largely organized around Aristotle's categories and discussion.
>>From Meikle's point of view, Marx thought Aristotle had pretty much solved
>the value problem except for his inability to see that labor was the source
>of value. This takes us back to our recent discussion of the labor/value
>issues and to the ongoing discussion of the "value form" theory.
>Duncan K. Foley
>Department of Economics
>Graduate Faculty
>New School University
>65 Fifth Avenue
>New York, NY 10003
>messages: (212)-229-5717
>fax: (212)-229-5724
>e-mail: foleyd@cepa.newschool.edu
>alternate: foleyd@newschool.edu
>webpage: http://cepa.newschool.edu/~foleyd

P. S. Please note that I have a new Email address,
but the old one will also run until next summer. (To be doubly sure load both!)

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