Re: Money, mind and the ontological status of value

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sat Jun 19 2004 - 17:12:47 EDT

Paul C., 

The worker clocks out at 4 p.m., having started at 7 p.m. and says,
"freedom, for a few hours! my 8 hours are up!".  That eight hours (one
hour lunch excluded) is to be theoretical?

The seamster works beyond 24 hours on a wedding dress and falls over dead
of exhaustion. The mistress says, "how dare she!"  That is to be

I'd say, it's reality.  To call it theoretical ("the 'length of the
working day' is another theoretical object that we use to discuss an
aspect of reality") reads like idealism to me.

Paul Zą.

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

On Sat, 19 Jun 2004, Paul C wrote:

> Paul Zarembka wrote:
> >Ian,
> >
> >'Production of absolute surplus value' is a theoretical concept.  The real object is the length of the working day.  So we could go through the concepts of Marxism, mode of production, production of relative surplus value, ...
> >
> >I can understand the "law of value" as a theoretical object.  But what is real object to which it is associated?  Are not Costas' comments offering a non-circular answer to this question, whether or not to agree with his particulars?  On the other hand, if I understand you correctly, you want to collapse the theoretical object and the real object onto the same phrase.
> >
> >
> This is surely a hopeless quest Paul.
> Any answer that Ian gives, by virtue of being expressed in language is
> another
> theoretical object. The real objects exist independent of our knowledge
> of them
> but our knowledge of them is only via the theoretical objects constructed in
> scientific literature and through our perceptual systems. But one can
> only refer
> to real objects via sentences which are themselves distinct from the objects
> that these sentences refer to.
> It is often useful to translate theoretical terms like 'absolute surplus
> value' into
> other terms like 'length of the working day', in order that we understand
>  what is meant. But the 'length of the working day' is another theoretical
> object that we use to discuss an aspect of reality.

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