Re: [OPE] CAPITAL AS POWER: free PDF download

From: Ian Wright <>
Date: Tue Nov 30 2010 - 12:56:52 EST

> WE don't know that empirically. To think that most of these people who
> reject value theory and have moved in contrary theoretical directions
> _because of_ the TP is naive.

As you know, ever since the birth of political economy, a major reason
given for the rejection of a labor theory of value is the theoretical
mismatch between certain kinds of prices and labor values. The
disintegration of the first Ricardian school in the 19th Century is
the first example. The upsurge and collapse of interest in value
theory in the 1970's and 80's is another example. I did not live
through these events but I have read multitudes of papers and books,
especially from the 70's and 80's, where otherwise progressive
theorists openly reject Marx's value theory due to the TP.

Of course this theoretical problem is by no means the only causal
factor that shapes theory construction. Nonetheless theoretical
problems are real, material factors in the development of

> To focus on the TP at a time when the world capitalist economy has
> experienced the biggest downturn since the Great Depression is, frankly,
> shameful.

Where did I argue that there should be a "focus on the TP"?

The rest of your post parodying the idea that workers "on the street"
are demanding a solution to the transformation problem is of course
silly. But more seriously, there is and will be a renewed interest in
Marxist theoretical ideas because of the crisis. Some workers,
intellectual and youth are very interested in deeper issues of
economic theory and therefore encounter the usual criticisms of the
labor theory of value.

Do you think working people are not interested in economic theory? Do
you think all Marxists should drop all theoretical work and "focus" on
issues raised by workers "in the street"?
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Received on Tue Nov 30 12:58:35 2010

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