the vexed issue (Jurriaan)

Mark Jones jones118 at
Sat Jun 9 07:27:20 MDT 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at
> [mailto:owner-marxism at]On Behalf Of Julio Huato
> Sent: 08 June 2001 21:07
> To: marxism at
> Subject: Re: the vexed issue (Jurriaan)
> Jurriaan's posting is very interesting.  I'll comment on a few items.
> >So then it doesn't matter what the activity is, as long as it produces
> >surplus-value for an employer then it's productive labour.

I don't have time right now to get into this, unfortunately, but there
is an informative debate on the OPE-L list, on the general question of
value, use-value and abstract labour in which Chris Arthur
participates.  The message archive is at

Other useful stuff:

Marxian Value-theory Geoff Keen's classic text on use-value and

If they're so rich, why ain't they smart? Alan Freeman on Marxian
value theory

Marx on the "transformation problem" Jim Miller's critique of Paul
Sweezy and Anwar Shaikh

Recent Capital and Class conference papers are also archived at Capital & Class
Papers 120 papers on Value Theory and related subjects from the
Conference of Socialist Economists.

In the ope-l thread, Chris Arthur is arguing inter alia:

>>As Rubin stresses
marx realised the necessity to distinquish value and exchange value very
late indeed. It was his last conceptual breakthrough (the penultimate one
was the reproduction schemas - hence the unfinished state  they are in). As
late as the first edition of C there is a footnote saying value is just an
abbreviation for exchange value. Of course in essence he had done so but
continued to use the old terminology. Bailey's tellng polemic was that EV
is clearly a relation so why are the Ricardians treating it as a substance?
In response Marx was forced to make the V/EV distinction. This is of course
of enormous importance. Someone like Robinson sees no harm in trying to
correlate labour times and prices but throws up her hands in horror when
the invisible mediator value appears. The reason Marx's lateness is
relevant is that he does not get around to clearly sorting out a
terminology to carefully distinguish the sense in which value is a form of
something else and the sense in which it has forms of its own. In both
German and English these tend to be called 'value form' indifferently, with
horrible consequences for unwary readers. Geert made the point ages ago
that we need a terminology to distinguish these two different value forms
viz that in which value is the form of th product and that in which value
takes forms of its own e.g. money. Moreover , as I streesed, the two cases
are not in the least analogous. For those into Hegel the value v.forms of
value one has to do with essence and appearance in the Logic. The V/UV one
has to do with the relation of the Logic to the non-logical, which is only
metaphorically one of appearance and essence.<<

Worth a look.

Mark Jones

More information about the Marxism mailing list