Re: [OPE-L] Albritton on Marx's value theory and subjectivity

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Wed Apr 12 2006 - 17:06:51 EDT

> This subordination is then summarily *equated* with
> indifference to use-value - "all that capitalists care about is profit",
> the lazy leftist caricaturists claim, AND THEREFORE they do not care
> about anything else.


The assertion that "all that capitalists care about is profit" is
a consequence of Marx's "character mask" ("capital
personified")assumption.  So long as capitalists don't have subjectivity,
it is a reasonable assumption which Marx thought, I believe, mirrored
capitalist history.  This point about profit does not, as you say,
logically imply an indifference to use-value since profit requires sale
and sale presumes use-value.  But it does speak to *motive*: capitalists
are motivated by profit, this (and its source, surplus value) are
(to use the vampire metaphor) their life blood.  They are not
*motivated* by the pursuit of use-value: rather, the production of
use-values is for them simply a means towards an end -- profit.
In _this_ sense the statement that "all that capitalists care about
is profit" is neither lazy nor a caricature: it is a point which
needs to be developed -- to be sure -- but it is a valid generality or
"stylized fact."

In solidarity, Jerry

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