[Marxism] "Sales"?

Leonardo Kosloff holmoff10 at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 4 22:57:21 MDT 2011

I forgot to attach this quote after "Marx was crucially
aware of the inversions this leads too." in my last post,


"All this is “drivel.” De prime abord,[20] I do not
proceed from “concepts,” hence neither from the “concept of value,” and am
therefore in no way concerned to “divide” it. What I proceed from is the
simplest social form in which the product of labour presents itself in
contemporary society, and this is the “commodity.” This I analyse, initially in
the form in which it appears.  Here I
find that on the one hand in its natural form it is a thing for use, alias a
use-value; on the other hand, a bearer of exchange-value, and from this point
of view it is itself an “exchange-value.” Further analysis of the latter shows
me that exchange-value is merely a “form of appearance,” an independent way of
presenting thevalue contained in the commodity, and then I start on the
analysis of the latter. I therefore state explicitly, p. 36, 2nd ed.[21]:
“When, at the beginning of this chapter, we said, in common parlance, that a
commodity is both a use-value and an exchange-value, we were, precisely
speaking, wrong. A commodity is a use-value or object of utility, and a
‘value’.  It manifests itself as this
twofold thing which it is, as soon as its value assumes an independent form of
appearance distinct from its natural form—the form of exchange-value,” etc.
Thus I do not divide value into use-value and exchange-value as opposites into
which the abstraction “value” splits up, but the concrete social form of the
product of labour, the “commodity,” is on the one hand, use-value and on the
other, “value,” not exchange value, since the mere form of appearance is not
its own content. 


Second: only a vir obscurus who has not understood a word of
Capital can conclude: Because Marx in a note in the first edition of Capital
rejects all the German professorial twaddle about “use-value” in general, and
refers readers who want to know something about real use-values to “manuals
dealing with merchandise”—for this reason use-value plays no part in his work.
Naturally it does not play the part of its opposite, of “value,” which has
nothing in common with it, except that “value” occurs in the term “use-value.”
He might just as well have said that “exchange-value” is discarded by me
because it is only the form of appearance of value, and not “value” itself,
since for me the “value” of a commodity is neither its use-value nor its
exchange value.


When one comes to analyse the “commodity”—the simplest
concrete element of economics—one must exclude all relations which have nothing
to do with the particular object of the analysis. Therefore I have said in a
few lines what there is to say about the commodity in so far as it is a
use-value, but on the other hand I have emphasised the characteristic form in
which use-value—the product of labour—appears here, that is: “A thing can be
useful, and the product of human labour, without being a commodity. Whoever [directly]
satisfies his needs with the produce of his own labour, creates, indeed,
use-values but not commodities. In order to produce commodities, he must not
only produce use-values, but use-values for others, social use-values” (p.
15).[22] //This the root of Rodbertus' “social use-value.”// Consequently
use-value—as the use-value of a “commodity” itself possesses a specific
historical character. In primitive communities in which, e.g., means of
livelihood are produced communally and distributed amongst the members of the
community, the common product directly satisfies the vital needs of each
community member, of each producer; the social character of the product, of the
use-value, here lies in its (common) communal character.  //Mr. Rodbertus on the other hand transforms
the “social use-value” of the commodity into “social use-value” pure and
simple, and is hence talking nonsense.//"



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