Re: Money, mind and the ontological status of value

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 23:47:55 EDT


My prior reply today covered only about a 1/4 of what you wrote today.  I
cannot really get into much of the other 3/4's before I leave.

However, there is a subjective message that I shouldn't leave unanswered.
Specifically, my saying that you are falling back on 'authority' and, as
such, this is unworthy of OPE-L leads you to suggest that an apology be
forthcoming from me to you.  I would and will apologize should I become
convinced that you were not in fact falling back on the 'authority' of
Marx.  Absent that at this juncture, let me just say that I am only one
person and that is how I have read you when I made that remark.

Outside the history of the use of 'authority', the deeper issue here is
whether you have been presuming your conclusion that everywhere there is
exchange value there is 'value'.  For this, the whole discussion of
theoretical object and real object is no tangent and *perhaps* is

I note your saying (8c) that a demonstration that exchange value is
everywhere 'value' "could be pretty readily done".  Perhaps I could remark
that even within the capitalist mode of production we don't usually claim
that as true for all exchange values.  The great van Gogh paintings never
represented abstract labor and their exchange values are in another orbit.
Ricardo, for what it is worth, delimits his discussion to easily
reproducible commodities and Marx followed him in this regard, at least in
the *Contribution*.  Many great cultural objects, now exchanged, were
produced with *no* concern for the market, indeed in some cases with a
contempt for the market even for personal well-being (Marx himself). I
don't think this point is very controversial, but does impact your
intended project.

I'll leave enough time tomorrow for at least some reaction to anything you
may offer in reply.

Paul Z.

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

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