Value and Exchage Value

glevy at glevy at
Wed Aug 2 20:49:29 MDT 1995

Carrol cites the following passage from Marx:

>     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)
And then asks:

>     Can anyone on this net explain for me this mystery.

The above passage has to be seen in the light of Marx's critique of
Ricardo on value.  To put the issue succinctly, Marx held that Ricardo
essentially ignored use value and that he understood value as exchange
value. For Marx, value could only be understood in terms of the
dialectical relation between exchange value and use value that he
analyzed with reference to the two-fold nature of the commodity.  Because
Ricardo understood value as exchange value alone,he failed to see the social
relations particular to commodity production. That is, by emphasizing
only the quantitative dimension of value, Ricardo ignored the qualitative
and social dimensions of value.

For more information on the above, I recommend reading:

Roman Rosdolsky, _The Making of Marx's 'Capital'; and
I.I. Rubin, _Essays on Marx's Theory of Value_.


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