Re: [OPE] Odyssey and the Peruvian treasure

From: Jurriaan Bendien <>
Date: Wed Feb 11 2009 - 09:33:01 EST

Jerry, unfortunately because you operate a Cartesian-type categorical system of Marxist dogmatics a bit similar to the Vatican, you are unable to "think outside the box", i.e. you are unable to think outside categories which you hold to be absolute and eternally true, analogous to mathematical propositions such as 2+2=4. This is why I recommend a study of real history, to get you out of that metaphysical, theocratic mode.

In no way, do I conflate "product" with "commodity" - rather I define very sharply and explicitly what the differences between them are, and in what ways the one presupposes the other, and the transitions from product to commodity. How you can fail to understand it, beats me. Honestly you wouldn't last very long at a Dutch university.

I make my viewpoint absolutely clear, that just because a product of labour effort has value, this does not make it ipso facto a commodity, and that for a product to be a commodity, it is not a requirement that it was originally intended for market sale, merely surplus to current requirements, or not preferred for consumption by the producer etc. I also explain in detail the reasoning behind this with reference to Marx's analysis of the development of the forms of value.

The "production of commodities only by means of commodities" characteristic of the specifically capitalist mode of production is merely the most advanced form of commodity production, in which case, products cannot exist at all in any other way, than as commodities - the value relation is intrinsic to their very inception. The point however is that this social condition (effectively, the production of capital by means of capital) doesn't apply to most of human history, even if wares were happily traded on a regular basis in urban markets, for aeons, all the same. In the Grundrisse, Marx similarly notes how commercial development shapes up the notions of use-value and exchange-value, how their forms evolve.

Apparently this dispute is strictly an obscure, irrelevant controversy in Marxist dogmatics, but in fact it has strong implications for socialist economics, since, lacking any adequate understanding of trading processes, these type of Marxists are unable to conceive how and under what conditions socialist economic relations could replace them. So the super-revolutionary ultraleftists in this respect achieve precisely the opposite of what they claim to aim for.


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Received on Wed Feb 11 09:36:25 2009

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