From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Tue Oct 23 2007 - 18:59:18 EDT
Gary, without a theory of economic value that relates monetary magnitudes to some substance of value, the quantitative extent of exploitation cannot even be discussed or measured. This is one substantive difference between the Marxist and surplus-school approach to exploitation, since the latter lacks any theory of value. I agree that it is a `simple fact' that a cake gets divided between classes. We don't need theory to make this observation. But your claim that capitalists are nonproductive, and that this division therefore represents an injustice, begs the question. As you know, theories of economic value have traditionally been employed to affirm or deny this. For example, Marx talks of uncovering the "secret" of capitalist profit by using the LTV to demonstrate what capitalist profits actually represent, their true 'substance'. I have trouble imagining how it is possible to objectively discuss distributional justice without a theory of economic value. Otherwise we have different classes with their contending claims, all of which are 'simply one way to look at what is going on'.
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