[OPE] value-form theory redux

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Sat Mar 14 2009 - 10:46:03 EDT

Jerry with due respect, you engage in sophistry once more. To illustrate, you write:

"Value "arises out" of exchange only temporally: i.e. there is value as potential created in the production process (this has been referred to sometimes as "ideal value") but that potential must be actualized in exchange ("actual value" or "real value")."

Now you say that value is created "as potential" in the production process, but only "actualised" in exchange. That would tend to mean that value does not exist prior to exchange. Little do you realise you make Marx's own argument incoherent thereby.

The substantive scientific question posed is: is capital valorised in production, such that an increase in value occurs within the immediate production process, external to the exchange process, as Karl Marx so painstakingly sought to demonstrate in thousands of pages - or, like VFT theorists claim, is value a "social effect" of the exchange process?

It's very simple, either the output of newly produced commodities has a value already prior to being traded, as Marx claims, or it does not, as VFT claims. Yes, or no.

Now rather than shilly-shallying, and ostentating with actuals, ideals and potentials and whatnot, you have to be definite, and say yes or no, either they do have value upon production but prior to sale, or they do not.

In poetry you can freely play around with your word meanings, but for economic science we require exact, crystal clear concepts with minimum fuzz, particularly if a proposition is of great theoretical consequence. So we don't want to play this "now you see it, now you don't" game where products have value, and yet "dialectically" they don't have value at the same time.

If you think this whole issue is obscure, I can tell you from my experience with national accounting data, that even for conventional econometrists it is not. It affects for example the valuation of the "increase in stocks" (or "change in inventories") item which is included in the measurement of gross product on the ground that it constitutes part of the new value added. In addition, it obviously has big implications for how you understand the transformation problem. And it has big consequences for how you understand the operation of the law of value in capitalist production.

Out of my thirty year's experience of the Marxist literature, I regret to say that very few Marxists actually show any evidence that they understand Marx's own concepts and theory. That's OK insofar as everybody is entitled to their own concepts, but it is not OK if the "innovations" are presented as the authentic article or as "Marxist". Because it has demonstrably nothing to do with Marx himself, so it makes the confusion only bigger.



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Received on Sat Mar 14 10:55:43 2009

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