Re: [OPE] peanut butter value-form theory

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Wed Apr 01 2009 - 15:42:05 EDT

Ian W., your particular position concerning LTV seems to be limited to the framework of Das Kapital. i.e. that there is such a thing like the gravitational force of labor which allegedly eliminates the difference between the labor content of a commodity and its price turning the price/labor value ratio equal to unity.   This assumption leads you to think that labor itself does confer value. But then a problem arises with ‘dodgy crackers’ which contain labor but can’t be valuable (I would like to hear your reflection on this).   I don’t understand your reluctance to accept this. It would be the first step in order to avoid the problem. You just have to take a small step ahead recognizing that value ultimately depends on subjective preferences held by consumers.   That’s ok if you don’t want to follow this way, but then you have to undertakea huge revision of LTV which necessarily will take you away from your formal models. They are built upon rotten bases. You need to evolve toward an institutional approach.   "I don't say this to be rude or dismissive, but as friendly advice". You should star by re-reading Oskar Lange.   Regards,A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: Ian Wright <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: miércoles, 1 de abril, 2009 18:36:32 Asunto: Re: [OPE] peanut butter value-form theory Alejandro Your recent posts unfortunately demonstrate, once again, a basic lack of understanding of Marx's theory of value. I don't say this to be rude or dismissive, but as friendly advice. You will be more effective in convincing others of the value of your ideas if you first understand the ideas that you are arguing against. Currently your critiques are arrows that miss their target. You are not arguing against the LTV but a straw-man vulgarization of it you have no doubt picked up from somewhere. The classical labor theory of value, which Marx inherited from Smith, Ricardo and other authors, is entirely compatible with the fact that consumers have preferences, that demand changes etc. On the relationship between social demand and labor-values a perfectly good place to start is Rubin's "Essays on Marx's Theory of Value", see especially Ch. 17 on "Value and Social Need": The whole book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand Marx's theory of value. Rubin, a committed Bolshevik, was murdered by Stalin, along with countless other communists in the 30's. Best wishes, -Ian. _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

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