[Marxism] Law of Value (was Re: Did the Cuban Revolution enforce socialist realism?)

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Mon Dec 31 19:21:56 MST 2012

Talk about 'garble'!
Shane writes:
> More reading of Marx would have prevented this garble, for it should 
> be impossible for anyone who has read Marx to talk about the 
> "suppression of the law of value." This is what Marx says about the 
> law of value:
> "...even if there were no chapter on value in my book, the analysis
> of the real relationships which I give would contain the proof and
> demonstration of the real value-relation...the mass of products
> corresponding to the different needs requires different and
> quantitatively determined masses of the total labor of society.
> That this necessity of distributing social labor in definite proportions
> cannot be done away with by the particular form of social production,
> but can only change the form it assumes, is self-evident. No natural
> laws can be done away with. What can change, in changing historical
> circumstances, is the form in which these laws operate..."
> Since "No natural laws can be done away with," under socialism 
> (defined by Marx, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Trotsky as the form of society 
> transitional between the capitalist mode of production, based on 
> capital accumulation and exploitation of labor, and the future 
> communist social order, based on universal abundance and universal 
> free activity or leisure) the "form in which" the law of value would 
> operate has to be reflective of the contradictory aspects it 
> incorporates from its antecedent mode of production and its future 
> transcendence of production and labor alike. 
Aside from attributing to Marx the stagist concept of a separate stage 
of 'socialism' [with its separate 'socialist principle'--- Lenin's 
dicta], the 'natural law' Marx had in mind is that every society must 
distribute its social labour. How this becomes a justification of 'the 
law of value' [characteristic of a society marked by the spontaneous 
interaction of commodity-sellers] is rather obscure [as are the politics 
behind this message].

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Home:   Phone 604-689-9510
Cell: 604-789-4803

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