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From: cbcox (Carrol Cox)
Message-Id: <9508030147.AA20378 at>
Subject: Query: Value and Exchange Value
To: marxism at
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 20:47:23 -0500 (CDT)
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    I have followed the various discussions of use value and exchange value,
but they have not touched on what to me (at the time some years ago when I was
reading and re-reading Vol. I of *Capital*) was the most baffling concept in
the work: that of exchange value as the form of value.

    Consider the following footnote, on the last page of Chapter 1,
"Commodities": "If the followers of Ricardo answer Bailey somewhat rudely, and
by no means convincingly, the reason is to be sought in this, that they were
unable to find in Ricardo's own works any key to the hidden relations existing
between value and its form, exchange-value."  (Progress Pub. ed., p. 87)

    Most discussions I have seen of Marxian economics simply discuss exchange
value and use value as though they exhausted the subject, but here Marx seems
to place central emphasis on this "hidden" relation, that between value and its
*form*, exchange value. Neither use value nor exchange value is *value*,

    Can anyone on this net explain for me this mystery. I battered my brains
over it off and on for several years (about two decades ago).
        Carrol Cox
        Illinois State Univ.

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