[OPE-L:2293] Re: value-form theories

From: C. J. Arthur (cjarthur@pavilion.co.uk)
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 05:55:58 EST

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Addition to my 2289 on *Value Form and the State*
>4 and the key argument has to do with the claim labour power does not
>represent value added and therefore its use is likely to be creating rather
>then transferring value.
>Conclusion: In spite of Geert's EMail claim to be Marxist his theory is the
>a) Marx's 'one factor' is labour. This is *not* Geert's, for
>b) Geert's one factor is valueless labour power, something Marx implicitly
>dismissed when he said labour power is a commodity like any other i.e.
>represents previously created value. Marx seems to have thought of the
>domestic sphere as a 'black box' within the overall capitalist
>reproduction, into which values go and out of which value comes, and, not
>unreasonably, equated them.
>To put my point in the most polemical terms possible, Geert reverses Marx's
>shift of attention from the sale and purchase of labour power to the inner
>abode of production, and he concentrates instead on studying the
>*circulation* of the inputs. (Of course it does not follow he is wrong
>because unmarxist!)
>To be sure in other parts of VFS we find 'labour' creates value but IMO the
>above 'derivaton' of LTV is inconsistent with this for it seems to show
>'labour power' creates value.
>Or am I being over-subtle?
>Chris A

No. For the two views diverge dramatically in a test case. Suppose labour
power is capitalistically produced as a genuine commodity containing added
value. Then according to VFS theory it is no longer a source of value and
capitalism is impossible. This conclusion is explicitly drawn in VFS,
complete with reference to 'babyfarming'.
By contrast, if Marx is right that labour creates value no such conclusion
follows necessarily. Capitalism can continue, albeit with a much reduced
rate of profit since the social surplus product now has to be shared by two
'macro-branches ' of capital.
I prefer marx.
[Sorry to be working through my thoughts 'in public' in this way over so
many posts. I was always bothered by this part of VFS and now I have it
straight, to my own satisfaction at least. I hope fans of VFS, among whom I
count myself, will be interested in my claim to have found this flaw in it.
Now I will cease clogging the airwaves.]

P. S. Please note that I have a new Email address,
but the old one will also run until next summer. (To be doubly sure load both!)

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