[OPE-L:2251] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: value-form theories

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 06:35:17 EST

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At 23:08 +0100 19-01-2000, Michael J Williams wrote:
>And I do not understand very well your response. I for one, hold to an
>abstract labour theory of value. Labour as grasped by the value-form is the
>source of all increase in Value. This is first of all a commonplace of
>Classical Political Economy, and more pertinently is demonstrated in the
>systematic dialectical presentation - not as early as Marx seems to do it in
>Capital, but later, with the development of money and then Capital.
>But, as I have just argued in other messages, I cannot grasp Value as a

I would appreciate the shortest answer you may give for 'why *labour* in
the asbtract labour theory of value?'. The reference to Classical Political
Economy is worrying me. Smith has the idea that labour is the source of
value, because labour is the *active* element in production, in whatever
mode of production. This cannot be Marx's perspective (I hold with
Napoleoni that in capitalism labour is included in the technical structure
of capital, which is the only 'producer' of wealth). I would like to
understand how the systematic dialectical presentation explain why labour
is the source of *value*, a statement which I hold is valid *only* in
capitalism. My difficulty of course is to understand how it is possible to
have 'labour' in the theory of value without labour as the substance of
>Since Reuten-Williams are not running for office, I am not sure what your
>remarks about being a 'supporter' are intended to convey? Except perhaps
>exasperation, perhaps understandable in the light of the time pressures you
>seem to be under?

Yes and no. Yes, I'm under pressure. No, the problem may simply be my
English. Supporter was simply a synonim of 'follower', someone who would
agree with Benetti-Cartelier rathen than with Reuten-Williams. I am lucky
enough to be a friend of Jean C. and Geert R., I know Carlo B. (who is
Italian!) and I have the highest esteem of you. And RW were most important
for me, because of your notion of pre-validation of value, which I think is
compatible with labour as the substance of value, while I understand that
you and Geert dissociate now from labour as the substance of value. So
don't think I am derogatory towards any of the surnames I've done.

For me Benetti-Cartelier are like Sraffa: the 'dissolution' of Marx. BC
destroys Marx from a monetary perspective, Sraffa from a non-monetary
perspective. They dissolve Marx because every position where labour is not
the substance of value, or where labour is simply presupposed as the source
of value, or where labour as such is the only producer of wealth, etc.,
cannot maintain the idea in Marx that exploitation arises at the
intersection of the labour market and immediate production, and is only
actualized in exchange (as you understand, from this I have to criticize
Marx for having said that capital has not invented surplus labour: or at
the minimum, to interpret this as a metaphor and not a rigorous wording) (I
also would say that Marx must be interpreted as writing most of Capital
under the Keynes's assumption that short-term firms' expectations are
always fulfilled). On the contrary, if value is constituted (only) in
exchange, without nothing 'substantial' before, I understand that Marx's
idea of exploitation (in production) vanishes.


>Dr Michael Williams
>Economics and Social Sciences
>De Montfort University
>Milton Keynes
>fax: 0870 133 1147
>[This message may be in html, and any attachments may be in MSWord 97. If
>you have difficulty reading either, please let me know.]
>----- Original Message -----
>From: riccardo bellofiore <bellofio@cisi.unito.it>
>To: Michael J Williams <mike.williams@dmu.ac.uk>;
>Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 9:12 AM
>Subject: [OPE-L:2219] Re: : : value-form theories
>> I don't understand very well this post, however, just to put forward a
>> de position:
>> (i) I fully agree that the determination of prices is systemic
>> (ii) I fully agree that Marx's is not mainly a theory of relative prices.
>> But no Marx without a labour theory of value in which the adjective is not
>> labour. As I repeated some time ago: if VFT convince me of his criticism
>> value as substance, I would rather become a Cartelier supporter, rather
>> than a Reuten-Williams supporter.
>> riccardo

        Riccardo Bellofiore
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