[Marxism] Fwd: From Marxmail home

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 12 07:28:31 MDT 2005

>In March of this year Marx’s Labor Theory of Value: A Defense, by Japanese 
>Marxist Hayashi Hiroyoshi, was published by iUniverse, Inc. As the 
>translator and editor of this book, I am writing to individuals and 
>organizations throughout the world who may be interested in Marxist 
>economic theory to draw their attention to its existence.
>In addition to my introduction, which provides an overview of the postwar 
>left in Japan and the role of Hayashi within in, the book includes the 
>following six chapters:
>1: The Meaning of the Commodity
>This chapter is a detailed examination of the first three chapters (part 
>one) of Marx’s Capital that also includes an explanation of Marx’s theory 
>of exploitation. Of particular interest is Hayashi’s clear explanation of 
>the theoretical task Marx poses in each section and chapter of part one.
>2: Adam Smith’s Theory of Value
>Here Hayashi examines all of the different aspects (or “moments”) of 
>Smith’s theory of value, which includes elements of both a labor theory of 
>value as well as a “vulgar” subjective view of value and the view of value 
>as the mere composition of wages, capital, and profit.
>3: Theory of Credit
>Hayashi presents the various forms of credit Marx introduces in the third 
>volume of Capital, with a focus on interest-bearing capital. This chapter 
>shows how money becomes a commodity sui generic (“fictional capital”). The 
>concepts presented here are essential to understanding how modern banks 
>4: Theory of Ground-Rent
>In this chapter, Hayashi presents Marx’s theory of the different forms of 
>rent discussed by Marx in volume 3 of Capital, noting the similarities and 
>differences between absolute rent, differential rent, and rent based on 
>monopoly price.
>5: Concept of Productive Labor
>This chapter looks at the distinction between productive and unproductive 
>labor, as well as the distinction and connection between the “formal” or 
>“bourgeois” definition” of productive labor under capitalism, and the 
>“original” definition of productive labor.
>6: Service Labor and the Concept of Productive Labor
>This chapter, based upon the understanding of productive labor presented 
>in the previous chapter, discusses the nature of “service labor” through a 
>critical examination of theorists who defend service labor as being 
>somehow productive.
>Finally, the book includes two prefaces by the author (one for this 
>edition and another from the original Japanese edition) and a glossary of 
>names of Japanese Marxists and scholars mentioned in the book. (I have 
>included the back-cover description of the book below.)
>Marx’s Labor Theory of Value can be browsed on-line at the publisher’s 
>and is available through amazon.com, barnes-and-noble and other sites. 
>Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the book. Also, by 
>visiting the Marxist Comrades Group website (mcg-j.org) you can read a 
>number of articles by Hayashi and other Japanese Marxists that I have 
>Back-cover description:
>Karl Marx’s ideas have been declared “dead” on more than one occasion, 
>only to emerge with new relevance a few years later. But the “collapse of 
>communism” seemed to be the final nail in his coffin. The end of history 
>had been reached, we were told, and poor old Karl was wrong. — Or was he?
>In Marx’s Labor Theory of Value: A Defense, Hayashi Hiroyoshi argues that 
>Marx will continue to be relevant as long as capitalism continues to 
>exist. This is simply because no one grasped the nature of capitalism on a 
>more profound level than Marx did. Hayashi presents the most fundamental 
>aspects of Marxist economic thought, centering on the discussion of the 
>commodity at the beginning of Capital. Also included are detailed 
>examinations of Adam Smith’s theory of value and the concepts of 
>ground-rent, credit, and productive labor. Hayashi shows that Marx’s labor 
>theory of value is the key not only to understanding capitalism but also 
>for grasping the essential characteristics of socialism. And socialism—as 
>the real solution to the contradictions of capitalism—turns out to have 
>little in common with the recently deceased “communist” states.
>Now that history has resumed—after its brief “hiatus”—it’s time to return 
>to Marx!



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