Lawrence Krader Labor and Value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Wed Jul 14 2004 - 18:47:49 EDT

I found this to be the best introduction to his work
L Krader, The Periodization of World History According to Karl Marx.
In Theory and Practice: Essays Presented to Gene Weltfish, ed.
Stanley Diamond Mouton Publishers, 1978. But see also his
contribution to A History of Marxism, ed. Hobsbawn.
Perhaps Krader's critique of the Asiatic Mode of Production is too
gentle. In writing after his  book on the topic (1975),  he seems to
me to underestimate less to what extent the putative independence of
the fabulated archaic villages had dissolved under Mughal rule, and
to recognize something of a weak internal dialectic to so called
Asiatic society. Daniel Thorner's  essay from the mid 60s reprinted
in The Making of Modern India is still a great introduction to Marx's
writings on India, ethnology, Morgan, and Maine. Thorner is more
critical of Marx than Krader, and had a better appreciation of what
Irfan Habib and DD Kosambi had already said.  In the analytical
account of Marx's theory of history (Cohen, Elster) one does not find
reference to Thorner's article and Krader's book; also almost
completely forgotten are Richard Jones, Phear and Maine, Morgan.
Marx's critical encounter with 19th century Anglo evolutionism which
both predates and postdates Darwin seems worthy of much more in-depth
study. Cyrill Levitt editor of this book and former student of
Krader's has written on the theme of evolutionism.  [But it seems to
me that a lot more needs to be said about how colonial power and
ideas about race structured this  evolutionism that Marx analyzed in
his ethnological notebooks. As Thomas Trautmann shows in Aryans and
British India, the Aryan mythology that was to cost the lives of
millions of Jews and Roma has its roots not in German thought but
British colonial history, in particular in mythologies about how
original "Aryan" social and linguistic forms once common in the East
and West no longer indicated a commonality of race after a long
period of social evolution in the West). The genocide of the gypsies
raises the question of how a people whose language root was Sanskrit
(and hence Aryan) were excommunicated from the Aryan race and
murdered en masse. The colonial origins of Nazi racism are also
explored by the Marxist Enzo Traverso in his excellent recent book.]

Also, the other Russian emigre Kovalevsky may have been as important
to Marx as Sieber.  Krader's work is very stimulating in regards to
all these thinkers.
But this book is about another topic, and I am having difficulty
comprehending his critique of objective theories of value.

Labor and Value
by Lawrence Krader, Cyril Levitt (Editor), Rod Hay (Editor)

Product Details

*       Hardcover: 325 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.00 x 9.00 x 6.25
*       Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing; (November 2003)
*       ISBN: 0820467987

From the Publisher
Labor and Value reexamines the history of the theories of labor and
value from Aristotle to the present. In a systematic way, it seeks to
combine the leading theories of objective and subjective value and
breaks new ground in subjecting both theories to a radical historical
and anthropological critique. Set within a newly conceived theory of
the orders of nature, it finds the treatment of both theories
problematic in that each treats its subject matter pars pro toto.
Lawrence Krader identifies both conceptual and terminological
confusion in the traditional discussion of labor and value by writers
within the Marxist tradition. He also demonstrates the negative
consequences of abandoning an objective foundations in value theory
on the part of the Austrian School in spite of its important
contribution on the side of subjective value. This book revisits and
deepens the discussion on labor as it was developed by Aristotle,
Hegel, and Marx.
Comprises the first posthumous publication of scholar Lawrence Krader
(1919-1998), professor and Director of the Institut für Ethnologie at
the Freie Universität, Berlin, whose wide-ranging work includes
manuscripts in the fields of noetics, mathematical logic,
linguistics, and other topics. In this volume, he examines the
history of the theories of labor and value from Aristotle to the
present, offering a radical historical and anthropological critique.
He identifies the conceptual and terminological confusion in the
traditional discussion of labor and value by writers within the
Marxist tradition and demonstrates the negative consequences of
abandoning an objective foundation in value theory on the part of the
Austrian School. Lacks a subject index. Annotation ©2004 Book News,
Inc., Portland, OR

Table of Contents
Lawrence Krader In Memoriam
Editors' Introduction
Introduction    1
Pt. I   Labor   3
Labor, the Process of Human Reproduction        3
Production and Consumption      11
Objective and Subjective Relations of Labor     16
Labor Form and Substance        23
Relations of Social Labor       35
Labor and the Periodization of Human History    72
Labor in Civil Society  85
Labor, Productive and Unproductive      106
App. I  On the Theory of Technics       117
App. II Diremption and Alienation of Labor      124
Notes   127
Pt. II  Value   139
Labor and Its Expression by Value, Quality and Quantity 139
Value, Exchange Value, and Use Value    164
Value Form and Substance        183
Periodization of the Value Process      196
Value, Essence and Reality      230
Value and Price 232
Calculation of Value    247
Social Labor and the Laws of Value      254
App. I  Aristotle, Marx, and the Theory of Exchange Value       255
App. II Value and the Mental Process    268
App. III        On the Market Economy in Russia and China       269
Notes   274
Bibliography    293
Index   299

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