Marx's birthday (fwd)

JenaSee at JenaSee at
Sun Apr 30 15:00:16 MDT 1995

on apr 30, boddhivisatva wrote:
< 	In that I've come to mature Marxism through my <experiences as an
<exploited worker, it may surprise some on the list that I find <absolutely
<relevance in the analysis of value through labor content.  It seems to <me
<patently contradictory to say that a good's value has any important
<relationship to the work that went into it, in the modern age.  I feel <that
<Marx used this end of the theory largely as a political "justification" <for

I'm not sure exactly what you mean when you say 'value'.  In the first
chapter of 'Capital' (vol. 1), there is an important distinction made between
value (the two factors of the commodity); that is, use value (substance of
value) and exchange value (magnitude of value).  These two culminate to form
the value of a commodity.
Although i agree that the value of a commodity is alienated (and, today,
externalized) from the labor which it embodies, the importance of the labor
time put into production cannot be ignored or discounted.  (If a good's value
has no important relationship to the work put into it, then what good are
strikes and any form of controlling the means of production.)
What is happening today however, is that wages, prices and profits have
become further removed from the labor which determines their rates.  This is
essentially the question which I posed to the list a few days ago:
<Marxist analysis on capital and labor power definitely needs to take
<a new perspective simply because of the fact that labor power no
<longer determines price, profit, or the rate of currency.  Th
<presence of a 'false economy' (particularly one that is global) seems
<as if it could be the death throes of capitaism.  But if capitalism
<can create and sustain itself (for now) on an economoy that is not
<based on labor power and trades more material wealth than actually
<exists, does that mean that it will find ways to continue even
<through crisis? (This is a question for those who might argue that
<capitalism will eventually just collaspe upon itself).
I would alter this previous statement a bit and say that labor power is now
further removed from determining prices, profit and rate of currency, rather
than saying that it doesn't determine it at all.

And boddhisatva continues:

<  My "justification" relies simply on something very like
<citizenship.  To the extent that a person participates in a social unit
<creates value, he should derive benefit as a matter of rights, just as <an
<owner does.  An owner may or may not "work" for the economic <organization
<that he has a stake in, but he derives benefit on the basis of his
<as well as whatever "market determined", "job" compensation he <receives.
<	That is why I ask Marxists how we may expand, or create <an equivalent
<concept to, ownership as now defined in the liberal state.
<	peace

Most Marxists (I hope) have created an idea equivalent to the current liberal
bourgeois idea of ownership: worker control
The difference: worker provides ownership based on labor time unlike that of
the bourgeois idea of ownership which is based on previously acquired wealth
which is use to buy or control labor without actually taking part in


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