Re: on money

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 16:05:01 EDT

Howard Engelskirchen <howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM> said, on 06/02/04:

>... value and water are both scientific objects, they are
>alike in insofar as they can exist before we form a concept of them and
>the concepts of them can be approximate, mistaken and can be revised to
>reflect more accurately their nature and powers.


You really have not understood my question.  For you to write what you have above is PRESUME the answer in order to give the answer.  It presumes that 'value' exists in ancient Greece.  Water existed in ancient Greece, but did value?  That is the question.  If you answer the question as you do above, you presume the answer BEFORE you answer.  You are claiming 'value' existed in ancient Greece.  But UNLIKE water, you cannot touch, or smell, or taste or feel 'value' (it shouldn't matter, but I believe Marx said something similar somewhere).  I'm quite serious about this.  If I had ever led you to think that I had already accepted that value (even if unrecognized) existed in ancient Greece, I'm sorry.  I'm at a loss how I could have been misunderstood.  I may be in error, but I thought I was perfectly clear in trying to understand NOT the concept (or lack thereof) of 'value' in ancient Greece, but its actual existence.

>I don't understand your question about Poverty of Philosophy.  Yes I think
>value is an economic category; yes I think it is an abstraction of a
>particular social relation of production; yes I think that social relation
>existed in the ancient world.  The ancients couldn't form a concept of it;
>we can, and can look back and recognize it there.

So, you believe value is sitting there in ancient Greece but Aristotle only lacked the concept of it?  Beyond simply asserting this as fact, what causes you to think it is a fact?  Aren't almost into theology?  You cannot see God, but she is there.

>I'll have to come back to your point about M-C-M and C-M-C.  You seem to
>be saying in response to the question I asked in the last post that value
>and capital are indeed the same thing.  Here, let me ask about Poverty of
>Philosophy:  "economic categories are only the theoretical expressions,
>the abstractions of social relations of production."  What are the social
>relations to which the concepts of value and capital respectively refer?
>Are they the same?

I think we can hold on the above, for we won't make progress without an understanding of the issues raised above.

>On the two things being exchanged being reducible to a third -- if you
>recall, at Rethinking Marxism I added that there was a step in Marx's
>investigation after this.  We find this in both Notes on Wagner and in
>Capital -- we have to go from value to the social relation behind it.
>Remember the chapter on commodity fetishism -- we are not looking at the
>relations of objects; that is just the way things appear.  We are
>considering reciprocal relations of persons with respect to labor (and all
>without the buying and selling of labor power).



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