[OPE-L:2218] Re: Re: value-form theories

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Wed Jan 19 2000 - 04:17:53 EST


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At 16:14 +0100 17-01-2000, Gerald Levy wrote:
>Re Riccardo's [OPE-L:2174]:
>
>> My personal opinion about VFT is that it rightly stressed the dimension of
>> 'form' in Marx, but that it has lost the 'substance', and there is no
>> substance without the form, and viceversa, at least according to Marx. Hic
>> Rhodus, hic salta. As a consequence, VFT in my opinion has no quantitative
>> 'theory', simply a quantitative 'accounting' (just as Sraffa, who
>> definitely is not a value form theorist).
>
>Isn't this basically the same criticism as that made by Carchedi & de Haan
>in _Capital & Class_ (57; Autumn 1995) in Section 6 of their article,
>"Value as a Metaphor?" (pp. 100-102)? Yet, as I recall, didn't
>you challenge Mino on just this point on OPE-L (in November or December,
>'95; I don't recall the post #) in which you said that you didn't think
>that this section of their article was "fair" to VFT?
>
>In solidarity, Jerry

Jerry,

a very short and insufficient answer. No, it is not the same criticism. Why
it is so is clear (I hope!) for those who have read my papers. Here I put
forward simply a note about attitutes.

My short answer is to your question is: Mino & de Haan, as Andrew K. and
Alan F., are Marx Is O.K. As He Is guys (MIOKAHI). I am not a MIOKAHI guy.

My longer (but not very much) answer is: I have argued that Marx tried an
argument about value where money is the form of value and labour is its
substance. The latter in Marx must be measurable in hours (as Marx said in
the last version he revised, the French one) - and, in some meaningful
theoretical sense, must be measurable before exchange. In Marx's argument,
however, actual value comes into being in exchange, so any argument who
says that abstract labour is fully constituted before exchange is plainly
wrong.

There is teherofere a problem in Marx, which cannot be resolved in an
'orthodox' fashion. It is unfair to VFT not to recognise this. The problem
cannot be resolved by leaving Marx's argument as we find it in his
writings. I am an 'heterodox' Marxian guys, not an orthodox, as most people
here in OPE-L.

At the same time, I think that VFT radicalised a (correct) Rubin's argument
which in the end destroys Marx, and which breaks with Rubin himself. My
point of view is based on the idea, to put it briefly, that the key problem
in Marx is not in the transformation of value into prices, butrather in
the theory of money. What should be done is to develop an argument which
allows to maintain the labour theory of value in a theoretical setting
where the theory of money is not based on a money-commodity, either in the
first or in the last instance

Summary: I see problems in Marx, I would like to resolve them maintaining
both the money measure and the time measure, the answer is not the
sequentialist la Carchedi-Freeman-Kliman or the VFT la Reuten and (the
last) Arthur. This should be argued better and in detail, but I have to ask
the people interested to look at my papers to understand my (unfinished!!)
theoretical project.

riccardo

P.S. I still hope I shall send a longer post on this debate in the future
(this is a hope, not a promise...)

        Riccardo Bellofiore
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