RE: [OPE] Value-Form Theory 101

Date: Wed Dec 10 2008 - 09:58:21 EST

Hi Paul C and Dave: Yes, Paul, there has been a lot of discussion on that on OPE-L in thepast. A major divide worth noting - especially as it concerns 'VFT101' -is whether categories such as value, abstract labor, surplus valueare *specific to capitalism* or are *trans-historical*. VFT tends to eithertake the former position or to say that their concern is with capitalism and they are agnostic and/or unconcerned about whether these categoriescan have some _other_ meaning for non-capitalist modes of production. As for Dave Z's question, I wouldn't dismiss the possibility out-of-handof finding some 'common ground' about abstract labor, but I don't think it's very likely. VFT, for instance (in all its variations?), rejects a 'labor embodied' perspective on value. How would this divide be overcome? We have discussed some distinctions which could be made which might allowus to bridge some ground. The clearest instance might concern the distinction between the surplus product (which exists in all class societies) and surplus value. Or, we could distinguish between commodities in general as something which could be viewed trans-historically and the specific meaning of commodities under capitalism. Or, we could distinguish between 'ideal value' and 'real value'. This wouldn't necessarily or, even, probably) lead to an agreement on our parts, but it could conceivablylead to a terminology which is more widely accepted across paradigms. In solidarity, Jerry > > This of course has been the subject of much discussion on the list, > > whether abstract> >> > Labour is a property of the market or is ‘simple undifferentiated > > expenditure of human energy’> >> > And as such something prior to and a condition of existence of, markets.> >> Is it not possible to bridge some of this ground? One can construct a > theoretical concept such as (general) 'abstract labour'. Then the > discussion between both positions would be whether such a theoretical > concept is any useful in for understanding real economies or whether it > has any causal relations to them, capitalist or otherwise.

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Received on Wed Dec 10 10:06:16 2008

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