[OPE-L] Marx's Form of Analysis

From: Hans G. Ehrbar (ehrbar@LISTS.ECON.UTAH.EDU)
Date: Tue Feb 15 2005 - 11:20:49 EST

Jerry, you are right, I should not have called them "private
producers" but "private individuals who make the decisions
about production."  But I disagree with you (and I think
others on this list) if you say value as a category can only
be grasped if there is wage labor.  Say in a situation where
all commodities that can be purchased in a society are
produced by private producers who own their means of
production, then

(a) you will probably have a rough correspondence between
exchange values and labor time (although this probably
depends very much on it how easy it is for the producers to
change between different lines of production, and I would
also expect that there is a strong conventional element to
both prices and production methods),

(b) but with much higher certainty I would assume that there
is money

and (c) I would also expect that some people hoard money.

All these are effects of the social relation "value".


> 2. Hans:

>> The private producers have human labour-power at their
>> disposal and they have to decide what products to produce
>> and what technology to use.

> At the risk of stating the obvious --

> Within any class society, the producers do not in general
> decide what to produce or what technology to use.  These
> decisions are made by those with the power to make them:
> by capitalists under capitalism, slave-owners under slavery,
> feudal lords under feudalism, etc.   The producers only make
> these decisions in exceptional circumstances under capitalism:
> e.g. in worker-owned producer cooperatives.  Even then,
> they have limited power because (unless they own a natural
> monopoly) the force of competition will tend to impose choices
> on them.

>> The market gives them the information necessary to do this
>> only if the market participants equate all their commodities
>> to one standard, i.e. money

> What the producers lack under capitalism is not "the
> information necessary"; what they lack is ownership and
> control of the means of production. Value can not be
> adequately grasped as a specific social relation without
> reference to the later stages of Marx's analysis, including
> Ch. 6 of Volume 1.

> In solidarity, Jerry

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