File spoon-archives/marxism-thaxis.archive/marxism-thaxis_1996/96-10-29.043, message 36

Subject: Re: M-TH: HoPE
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 12:29:51 -0400 ()

     The case can be made either way.  Of course there are 
large chunks of various volumes of _Capital_ where Marx 
certainly appears to be equating value and long-term 
average price, or central tendency of price, or whatever.  
At the same time there is the whole discusssion in the 
chapter in Vol. 1 on "Commodity Fetishism" which would seem 
to indicate that prices and so forth are a mere surface 
phenomenon, and that indeed it is this deeper aspect of 
value as given by exploitation that is what he is really 
after, the essence of capital, as it were, to use a very 
un-Marxist word.
Barkley Rosser
On Fri, 25 Oct 1996 11:22:09 +0930 Ian Hunt 
<> wrote:

> Add a fifth. Marx says in vol 111 of *Capital* that he is concerned only
> with price movements corresponding to value movements. Even this is not
> strictly correct, but it is much closer to the truth than the propositions
> Justin cites which hold only with equal organic compositions of capital. I
> would state something a bit stronger than the purely qualitative version of
> value theory. Marx can be taken as positing values (the inverse of labour
> productivity - which can be defined using prices and can be "negative" etc
> contrary to what Brewer assumes) as  a kind of "shadow" price through which
> one can theorize the relation between price movements and productivity
> movements. In particular, I think Marx is committed to what I call the "Law
> of Value", namely, that competition in markets leads to a progressive, all
> round decrease in values, which presupposes that there is at least a strong
> positive correllation between prices and values. Saying the prices and
> values (taken as the inverse of labour productivites) are proportional is
> wrong but saying that they are strongly correllated is quite plausible. The
> weaker proposition also rescues a fair bit of Ricardo, as well as allowing
> one to adopt a more generous interpretation of Marx than is customary in
> mainstream economics and in simplistic commentaries such as Brewer's recent
> effort,
>      --- from list ---

Rosser Jr, John Barkley

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