re-law of value

Michael Luftmensch MLuftmensch at
Sun Jun 23 01:10:54 MDT 1996

re-law of value

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I am definitely not on your wavelength...


No. At Red Flag Canal, you tuned into a different frequency. Citing the
revolutionary nature of capitalist commodity production in reducing
the labour content of use values, you argued against the primacy of
effort celebrated by Gina. But had Gina relocated to a nuclear facility,
and celebrated the heroism of the technicians - what then?

I don't think the economics of the Cultural Revolution can be reduced
to the emulation of model villages. There was a domestic dimension
to the revolution (urban/rural relations in China and the pyramid
of power established under the Communist Party) and there was an
international context (the rift with the USSR and the war waged by the
USA in East Asia) which surely are as basic to the economic policies
pursued in China during the sixties as Stahknovite labour methods.

Yes - I remember reading that when Edgar Snow told Mao in the
mid-sixties that less than five per cent of the population of the USA
lived on the land, Mao fell off his seat. But how do China and the USA
stand in relation to each other? Can they be compared? As what? I
suggested that border controls have some relevance here along with
unequal exchange, particularly in regard to the transfer of technology.

In the meantime, I have read you celebrating the triumph of
the "non-exploitative dimension of modern capitalism: commodity exchange".

Non-exploitative? Perhaps when abstracted from living social relations,
they may look that way to you - but not to me. I understand the marxist
analysis of capitalism to be one in which capitalism is seen as both the
best thing that ever happened to humanity and the worst. Far be it for
me to say you are not being a good marxist, but I have noticed that you
have a penchant for looking for the best and ignoring the worst; breakfasting

with angels and keeping your distance from the demons.

No doubt, your understanding of the Law of Value is very subtle. You
have certainly extolled its analytical power, though strangely enough
you have refrained from applying  it in a concrete manner. You seem to
have an unabashed admiration for the economic mechanisms of
capitalist exchange. As for the producers and reproducers, they have
been replaced by a set of equations. (Next stop - Schweikartville?)
The regulation of labour by way of technology strikes you as off-topic...

No - we are not on the same wavelength. The thread has unravelled
but the knot remains.  Till we meet again. Regards, -Michael.

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