RE: [OPE] Value form theory 101

Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 08:46:13 EST

> Oh, I don't dispute at all that Reuten/Williams are fellow socialists, and that they want to have a
> theory of value without the nuisance of Marx's LTV. I said so already. It's just that I think they
> dismiss the LTV for the wrong reasons and that their alternative is a sociology of capitalist society,
> that is all. I regard their theory of value as definitional, not as coherent and grounded in economic
> history. And obviously capitalist production as the "unity" of production and circulation of
> commodities involves relations of production, circulation, distribution and consumption. Question
> is if you can separately identify what they are. As far as I am concerned, Marxists are completely
> at liberty to mix all that up, and conflate the forms and substance of value, as far as I am
> concerned, it is just that this has nothing to do with Marx. But since you cleverly avoid the substantive
> issues, I will drop the subject.
The substantive issue isn't what Marx's perspective was, but you cleverly seek to
steer the discussion back to your interpretation of Marx's value theory. To dismiss
VFT as "sociology" and their perspectives on value as merely "definitional" are
other arrows which have truly missed the mark.
VFT is, unlike some perspectives on value, is not one-sided. For instance, most
Marxian (and Ricardian) theories downplay or dismiss the role of use-value in their
theory of value. Not so for VFT. Many Marxian theories don't critically consider
the meaning of socially-necessary-labor-time and the inter-relation of social need
and class relations. Not so for VFT. Many Marxian theories completely separate the
concept of value from the subject of money. Not so for VFT. Many Marxian
perspectives don't consider the specific social forms associated with value.
Not so for VFT. Many Marxians want to talk about "value" in Ancient Rome and
before. The focus of VF theorists is on the subject matter of capitalism. Others will
talk only about Marx. Not so for VF theorists. This is not to say that they also
don't have interpretations of Marx. It is just to say for them that what Marx's
perspective was is not the 'be all and end all' of discussion and research. The
theoretical practice of many Marxians is one-sided and self-contradictory: they
are critical of all *except* Marx. Marx somehow escapes their critique, even
though critique of all other thought is fair game and, indeed, thought to be desirable
and necessary. VF theorists do not place Marx on a pedestal.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Mon Dec 15 08:51:09 2008

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