Centrality of exploitation in political economy?

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Tue Jun 6 22:24:05 MDT 1995

On Tue, 6 Jun 1995, Justin Schwartz wrote:

> On Wed, 7 Jun 1995, Chris Burford wrote:
> > chimney sweeps :).  But it is a serious problem if someone like Sraffa
> > is quoted repeatedly to authenticate a view that the central concept of
> > Marx's critique of capital is wrong.
> Well, there can be differences on what the central concept is. I think
> it's exploitation, and flies without the LTV.

If Justin is correct, why did Marx continue to write CAPITAL after he
explained the origins and nature of exploitation in Volume 1?  Wasn't
Marx's purpose (at least the way he defined it) to show how the nature of
commodity production and the law of value give rise necessarily to
certain laws and tendencies of capitalist accumulation?

Even if you don't accept the premise of the second question,  if the
study of political economy is primarily concerned with unravelling the
mystery of exploitation, what is the purpose of continued study of the
subject of political economy?  It would seem that Marx spent years of his
life investigating unimportant topics.
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