[OPE-L:1171] surplus production and the value-form

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Fri Sep 10 1999 - 08:10:28 EDT

Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:1169]:

> I don't think that Marx actually ever says that the surplus production
> 'must' take a value form in a capitalist system.

Perhaps not. Yet, he starts Part 1 of V1 (appropriately titled "Commodities
and Money") with the words:

         "The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of
          production prevails, presents itself as 'an immense
          accumulation of commodities,' its unit being a single

His concern in _Capital_ was thus not surplus production in general, but
(initially) the commodity-form and capitalism. And, as Marx made
abundantly and repeatedly clear, commodities under capitalism must by
definition have a) use-value; b) exchange-value, i.e. the value-form; and
c) value.

Thus for surplus production to _not_ take the value-form would require
that production not take the form of commodity production. Yet
comprehending this possible category of anomaly was neither Marx's
concern when writing _Capital_ nor is it essential for understanding the
dynamics of capitalism. It is, for example, no more essential to the
understanding of capitalism than the topic of barter.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Feb 27 2000 - 15:27:08 EST