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

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sat Jun 05 2004 - 09:04:48 EDT

--On Friday, June 04, 2004 2:32 PM -0400 Howard Engelskirchen
<howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM> wrote:

> Yes, I think we have identified two fundamental differences: first, you
> think value is a theoretical object but not a real one and I do think it
> is a real object.  Obviously this makes all the difference.  A theoretical
> object does not cause things.  We have to explain changes in nature and
> society on the basis of real objects.


  Is the corpus of Marx's work a theory or reality?  Are mode of
production, labor power, constant capital, variable capital, surplus
value, production of absolute surplus value, production of relative
surplus value, etc., real objects or theoretical objects?  Marx explicitly
refers to his "definition of constant capital" (Vol. I, p. 202, Lawrence &
Wishart ed.), which sounds theoretical to me.  Also, Marx had simply
referred to 'labor' in earlier work before he introduced 'labor power',
which seems like his producing a concept.

  If you reply that most or all of these are theoretical objects, then why
would 'value' be any different?  Are certain of these concepts real
objects while others are theoretical objects?

> ... You have asserted the non-existence of value in the ancient world, and
> questioned my argument. Still, you haven't said why value only exists
> under capitalism.

  Correct.  I'm probing to understand what is that 'value' is.  I haven't
arrived at this important issue.

Paul Z.

RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY,  Paul Zarembka, editor, Elsevier Science

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