[Marxism] Mark J. on the law of value - Wrong Again.

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Jun 7 13:33:03 MDT 2004


In a message dated 6/7/2004 11:42:17 AM Central Standard Time, lnp3 at panix.com 
writes:
Voluntarism, spontaneism, defying the working of the Law of Value... it 
was Trotsky himself who criticised the spontaneism of Stalin's 5-Year 
Plans, arguing that the USSR COULD NOT avoid 'the background chatter of 
Value around its borders' and that Stalin's attempt to defy the economic 
laws of gravity could only be accomplished by bureaucratic coercion, the 
enforced conscription of labour, a ubiquitous secret police, and a 
system of labour camps or gulags...


Comment

I of course read the article in its enitirety. The question of tryanny can 
momentarily be place to the side and we look at the political economy of the 
issue. Lets examine what is actually written: 

"'the background chatter of Value around its borders' " means the borders of 
the Soviet Union. This poses the question incorrectly because what we are 
talking about is the law of value internal to the evolving industrial system of 
the USSR. The fact of the matter is that the law of value is as I described it 
and what was suppressed is exactly as I described it - the price form. 

The question of the difference between the price form of the commodity and 
its value has been fought out before Marx. There is a reason I wrote about the 
suppression of the price form of the law of value as distinct from attempting 
to suppress the amount of labor in a commodity. The latter is impossible on the 
basis of political fiat. Value is the amount of socially necessary labor in a 
commodity and cannot be altered by political fiat. 

This would seem as clear as noon day. The Gulag could not and did not - 
because it is an act of impossibility, suppress the law of value. Engels deal with 
this question discussing the role of force in history. 

'(T)he background chatter of  Value around its borders' has a certain 
relevancy but it is not chatter at all but the actual working of the iron law of 
value in an unrestricted manner, expressed in the Soviets exchange relationship 
with the bourgeois world. What was this exchange? What this exchange "chatter?" 

What is called socialist accumulation has to be freed from the constrain of 
the ideologists. To accumulate industrial the Soviet exchanged agricultural 
products with the bourgeois world. In this sense industrialism in the USSR was 
based on squeezing the peasants, who could not and did not receive the market 
value - in the price form, of their product. 

Mark posed the political economy of the law of value incorrectly and this is 
obvious to anyone with a small learning in the political economy of Marx. 

******************************
Stalin's forced industrialisation did succeed, in its own terms. But 
what it created was an autonomous enclave of economic anti-gravity which 
only managed to stay out of the capitalist world market at 
bayonet-point, until the WORKINGS OF THE LAW OF VALUE buried the whole 
scheme in 1991...

Comment

To begin with all industrialization is forced, in as much as in the real 
world the passing from manufacture to industrial relations was on the basis of 
bourgeois property or depriving the producer of his means of production and this 
is a mute question. The regimentation of Soviet Society does not explain the 
political economy of what happened during the period of industrialization. 

If one offered an economic unraveling of the system of slavery in America and 
spoke of the brutality the blacks faced at the hands of the whites, no one 
would disagree but everyone would ask, "Where's the beef?" Where is the economic 
analysis or political economy?  

One must read what is written: "an autonomous enclave of economic 
anti-gravity" is no more than intellectual childishness and empty prattle parading as 
economic insight.  

*************************************
Planning, as we know, is essential to capitalist societies which in fact 
have generally been better at it than socialist states, 
historically-speaking. But under capitalism, planning works because it 
is subordinated, institutionally and functionally, to the market, that 
is, to the IRON WORKING of the Law of Value. When you abolish the Law of 
Value but continue to try to operate a capitalist-style social division 
of labour with an industrial mode of production, you introduce not 
higher planning but mere arbitrariness and finally, bureaucratic 
sclerosis in a police state, but under the sign of a Party-teleology...

Comment

I rest my case. Marks point blank speaks of the abolision of the law of value 
anf this is impossible. This is what he states: 

But under capitalism, planning works because it 
is subordinated, institutionally and functionally, to the market, that 
is, to the IRON WORKING of the Law of Value. WHEN YOU ABOLISH THE LAW OF 
VALUE but continue to try to operate a capitalist-style social division 
of labour with an industrial mode of production, you introduce not 
higher planning but mere arbitrariness and finally, bureaucratic 
sclerosis in a police state, but under the sign of a Party-teleology...

Mark J. posed the question wrong. 

What may one ask is "a capitalist-style social division  of labour with an 
industrial mode of production," that is magically operating withoput the law of 
value? 

This is what Mark J. wrote . . .not I. 

This is all wrong. First "a capitalist style division of labor" means exactly 
what? There is no capitalist division of labor. Capitalism is a property 
relations not an economic system of production or mode of production. Being a 
passionate and militant champion against the Tyrant does not mean one understands 
political economy in the Marxist manner. 

Conversely supporting a Tyrant does not mean one has failed to understand the 
political economy of Karl Marx.

Mark Jones articulation of the law of value and socialism as a property 
relations are incorrect according to what he wrote. 

I wrote fairly clearly. Deal with it.

"Abolishing the law of value" is conceiving the impossible.

Oh the Gulag was real bad. If I state this a hundred times what about the 
political economy of Mark Jones which is an affront to any Marxist with a little 
hair on their chest. Deal with the law of value and what was presented. 

Melvin P.  

  




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