Re: (OPE-L) the specific social relations [of production] associated with value

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 09:15:31 EDT


Has anybody on the list done or know of any work which does a careful analysis of the occasions when Marx used the term "social relations of production"?  Jerry and I use it quite differently than Howard.

Paul Z.

P.S. Howard, since Jerry is commenting on a portion of your reply to me in a manner I might have done, I'll probably await an answer to the above before continuing with "on money".  Thanks for the stimulating discussion.

Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science

"Gerald A. Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM> said, on 06/03/04:

>Hi Howard.

>> It is the contribution of Bhaskar, and his reading of Marx, to make clear
>> that some such understanding could be applied to social relations, ie that
>> social relations can be thought of as causally potent, but non-empirical.
>> In other words, I can see the material poles that make up a social
>> relation,
>> say Joe (a husband) and Meg (a wife) and I can see it's effects, but the
>> "relation" is something that is non-empirical.  Marx said that society is
>> just an ensemble of social relations.  That means, I take it, that much
>> more
>> than class is involved.  Marriage qualifies.  Ultimately social relations
>> are effective, if they are, as a result of the actions of individuals.
>> But
>> when we refer to "separate" producers establishing the relation of value,
>> really we refer to any constellation of entity that acts autonomously in
>> bringing a product to market -- a corporation, a petty producer,  a slave
>> owner, a collective farm, etc.

>Yes, there is a social relation between Joe and Meg.  It does not
>constitute social relations _of production_, though.  One should not
>divorce (no pun intended)  the concept of value from the _specific_ social
>relations of production  associated with capitalism.  These specific
>social relations of production are associated with a specific _class_
>relation in which value and surplus value can arise.

>Simply because in Ancient Greece products were produced for exchange, were
>exchanged,  and had a utility does not mean that they had (in Marx's sense
>of the term) value.  Undoubtedly, those products had value in some _other_
>sense of the term,  but value in the Marxian tradition refers most
>fundamentally to a specific social/class relationship.

>In solidarity, Jerry

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