[OPE-L:7340] Re: Re: Re: cogoy and environment etc.

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 05 2002 - 21:31:43 EDT

Hi Paul Burkett,

I am interested in  the implications for environomental analysis of 
the use value side of Marx's theory. I have not read your book, and 
understand that you deal with such questions in detail.

It would seem that attention only to value would obscure the problem. 
To be simple: Marx gives the example of how the quantity of  the 
cotton once worked up a single spinner at a spinning wheel in a 
normal working day pales in comparison to the quantity of cotton 
worked up by a single spinner in a modern factory in a single working 
day, though the value of this worked up cotton may be the same in 
both cases! This seems to me a key example.

For only  once we realize that Marx's theory is a dialectic of use 
value and value--and I agree with Steve K about this though I would 
characterize the dialectic in a different manner but I do think 
Sweezy underestimates how important use value was to Marx--do we have 
the basis for an analysis of capitalism in terms of resource 

In a recent post I made a point about how important both the value 
magnitude and use value or physical quantity magnitude of the surplus 
is.  In order to understand the resource demands of capitalism, isn't 
the value of the surplus, i.e, the unpaid living labor time embodied 
therein, less important than physical quantity of the surplus, i.e., 
its use value side?

For example, let's say the laboring population is fixed. The surplus 
value produced by this fixed laboring population could be relatively 
constant compared to the magnitude of the surplus in use value terms. 
Didn't Marx criticize Ricardo for focus on the magnitude of the 
surplus only in value terms (Ricardo is only interested in net 
revenue) to the exclusion of attention on the total size of the 
economy in physical terms and the size of the surplus in use value 

It would seem to me then that value analysis is an obstacle to 
environmental analysis but Marx's theory is based on a dialectic of 
value and use value.

Comradely, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jul 02 2002 - 00:00:04 EDT