its only a pre-analytic view but I like it, like it, yes I do!

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Tue Nov 1 18:01:32 MST 1994

On Tue, 1 Nov 1994, guest account wrote:

> Justin Schwartz e-orated. . .
> >I would add, likewise, that a labor theory of value, even if true--I mean
> >even if a proof were forthcoming that money were labor, etc.--does not
> >itself have moral implications. It does not follow, for example, that
> >labor deserves or is entitled to all value even if labor created all value
> >and determined all prices. To get such a theory off the ground you need a
> >labor theory of _property entitlements_ of the sort defended by G.A. >Cohen,
> Locke, and Nozick.
> "even if true" ?  ? ?

Why the question marks? I have been arguing that the theory is not true
because it is internally inconsistent.

> How can one be a marxist without a LTV?

Well, if you don't want to call me a Marxist, OK. I won't be offended. My
dissertation adviser, Alan Gibbard, a decided non-Marxist, once told me,
when I was worrying about whether I was a Marxist, that he thought a
Marxist is someone whose heart goes up when the red flag goes by. That
cheered up up no end. In that sense I certainly am a Marxist. But
basically I think the issue is what's true and not what's Marxist. After
all, Engels reports that Marx said of some folks who read his views in
ways he didn't like, "In that case I am no Marxist!" If he wasn't, why
should I be!

 -- like without LTV, tell me where
> profit comes from? ? ?

>From the exploitation of labor. But you don't need a theory of price to
tell you that, or indeed a theory of value. What you need is a theory of
exploitation and profit. No doubt it will not surprise you that I have
written a paper on this, "What's Wrong With Exploitation?", forthcoming
from _Nous_ in July 1995, they tell me, but no promises.

> It would be like a neo-classical minus utility trying to explain demand
> curves.
> >The point: the way economics is morally loaded is very tricky and subtle.
> The LTV does not contain moral implications.
> Do we say that utility theory contains moral implications?
f> The LTV and utility are what Schumpeter calls "pre-analytic" views.  If you
> want to be a John Bates Clark and morally load them up, then o.k., but that
> in itself is a separate action.

I do think in fact that economics, both Marxian (more obviously) and
neoclassical too is morally loaded. After all, we are talking about human
welfare and freedom. But the way it is loaded is rather indirect.

--Justin Schwartz


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