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

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@UFPR.BR)
Date: Mon Apr 17 2006 - 15:08:51 EDT

Hi Jurriaan,
could you explain a bit your last paragraph, especially where it reads: "But
what Marx overlooks is that this indifference may become a problem.."

Jurriaan Bendien wrote:

> Thanks for the quote, Chris. Marx does suggest here that, from the
> standpoint of the valorisation process, i.e. at a high level of abstraction,
> "capital is in and for itself indifferent towards the specificity of every
> sphere of production", but that is just to say that what matters *in a
> financial regime* is costs, sales revenue and profit, no matter what is
> produced. And further, more substantively, that the developmental impulse of
> capital is to remove "all legal and extra-economic obstacles to the
> versatility we are discussing".
> Yet Marx acknowledges here also "One cannot make any boots with spindles,
> cotton, and spinners", i.e. use-value cannot be ignored from an economic or
> technical point of view in real production. The use-value aspect is however
> abstracted from "in order to present the laws of political economy in their
> purity". But again, that does not mean that in reality the use-value aspect
> can be, or is disregarded. Marx does not say here *capitalists* are so
> indifferent, only that *capital* as self-valorising value is indifferent.
> The credibility of the "indifference" argument hinges on the question
> "indifference to what, and from what point of view". The substance of the
> indifference idea is, that if goods are produced for exchange, rather than
> immediate use, then producing them is not an end in itself, but only a means
> to an end, i.e. to obtain income in order to buy other goods, and that is
> how it is looked upon.
> But what Marx overlooks is that this indifference may itself become a
> practical problem, and that a great deal of management effort goes into
> combatting that indifference - this would be particularly true in a services
> economy.
> Jurriaan

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