In 4289 Steve asked > how would you >interpret the following statements by Marx?: > >"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" (comment on Wagner) > >Does not the statement "that *surplus value* itself is derived from a >`specific' *use-value of labour-power*" imply that Marx was using a form of >logic--as well as a historical argument--to assert that labour is the >source of surplus value? Steve, value is defined as social labor time (the value of a commodity is the labor time it contains but the labor that it contains is socially determined); hence, surplus value is defined as surplus social labor time. The question then becomes how surplus labor time originates in the market where everyone presumably exchanges equal labor time for equal labor time. There would have to be a commodity whose use value is more labor time than is represented by the labor time for which it exchanges. The so called dialectic of exchange value/use value thus allows Marx to specify what it is exactly that the proletariat sells on the market (labor power), and thus conceptually clarifies the exploitation underneath the free market. Instead you have it 1. there is a dialectic of use value and exchange value. 2. Marx only looked at the use value of one commodity labor power and determinned its use could be productive of value 3. He then commited the non sequitur that since the use of labor power was productive of value , the use value of no other commodity was also value producing. You simply don't understand how Marx defines value. 3 is not a non sequitur, ok simply because the use value of dead labor cannot be productive of new, surplus labor time. But do note that Marx does argue that the use of a new machine can allow an entrepreneur to claim more of the total social surplus labor time than is produced in his own firm or even branch...So the use value of dead labor certainly *appears* productive of surplus value to the businessmann and those who systematize his thinking. There is good reason why your Marx critique has the ring of common sense to it. All the best, Rakesh ps my computer crashed when I tried to print out your chapter. So my response will be delayed. pps wouldn't a massive reflation of the Japanese economy threaten to overcome crisis on the backs of pensioners, not simply the debt owning class? Does radical Keynesianism really have working class credentials?
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