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Re: [hegel-marx] Hegel's Influence on Soviet dialectical categories

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  • William Yate
    Hi Chris, You are, as you hardly need me to tell you, completely right that I was ignoring the value/price distinction. I m still not as fluent with the
    Message 1 of 71 , Nov 28, 2012
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      Hi Chris,

      You are, as you hardly need me to tell you, completely right that I was ignoring the value/price distinction. I'm still not as fluent with the difference between the two as I would like to be, but I understand and concede your point.

      As for the following point:

      "So even if I know that X works for 4 hours at $25/hr to produce 1
      widget, I don't know that it counts as, is validly, $100. All I know is
      that if it sells for $100, it sells at its purported value, but if
      someone else makes the same commodity in the same time for $75, then my
      commodity is only worth, only /counts as/, $75."

      Isn't this why Marx added the "socially necessary" to "socially necessary labor-time"? It seems to me Marx does this a lot: he concedes that "yes, there's a problem here, but it's really just a technical problem and doesn't affect the theory I'm developing, so let's go ahead and gloss over it and keep our eyes on the big picture."

      You also say:

      "For example, I would argue that Marx does take us up through capital in
      a manner similar to how Hegel makes his way through spirit, and yet
      there is a categorial development not unlike the /Logic/. the matter
      requires more serious discussion and less partisanship on this side or
      the other."

      As I said also in response to Ram, I apologize for an appearance of partisanship; I'm really not approaching the discussion in that way, and I'm embarrassed that I gave that impression.

      I agree this is an issue that requires serious discussion, but I'd like to get clearer on the substance of your claim. What is it about "categorial development" that Capital shares with the Logic but not with the Phenomenology? The above quote makes a strong distinction between the PhG and the Logic, and I'd like to get a better grip on what that distinction means to you.

      Best,
      Will

      On Nov 27, 2012, at 6:08 PM, Chris Wright wrote:

      > You will pardon me, but there is a fundamental categorial difference
      > between value and price that the entire discussion has ignored (and
      > which references to Wikipedia solve as readily as a reference to Funk &
      > Wagnalls or Encyclopedia Britannica.)
      >
      > Value is a social relation, money its social form, and price is its
      > expression. Value cannot exist without its form as money, but value
      > cannot be reduced to money, and thus cannot be directly expressed in
      > price. In fact, value and price almost never match because the labor
      > time expended on a commodity cannot be expressed except in relation to
      > other commodities, which means that the amount of labor time which
      > counts, which is valid ('counts as' and 'valid', /gilt/ in German, is a
      > huge deal with the early chapters, as it is in Hegel, btw), is
      > determined in a relation with tens, hundreds, or thousands of other
      > commodities.
      >
      > So even if I know that X works for 4 hours at $25/hr to produce 1
      > widget, I don't know that it counts as, is validly, $100. All I know is
      > that if it sells for $100, it sells at its purported value, but if
      > someone else makes the same commodity in the same time for $75, then my
      > commodity is only worth, only /counts as/, $75.
      >
      > Patrick Murray has a very concise and thoughtful discussion here:
      > http://ioakimoglou.netfirms.com/resources/Lesxi-Kataskopwn/Marx-on-Money.pdf
      > Chapter 3
      >
      > Also, I think there is plenty of reason to think that Marx's /Capital/
      > is a phenomenological work, but not in the sense that Nicole Pepperell
      > thinks it is, that is, not in the sense that people experience capital
      > at these various levels so much as /political economy/ stumbles at each
      > of these levels of analysis.
      >
      > Having said that, it strikes me that the old quip that you have to read
      > the Phenomenology to understand the Logic, but you only really
      > understand the Phenomenology after you read the Logic is /a propos/ of
      > /Capital/.
      >
      > For example, I would argue that Marx does take us up through capital in
      > a manner similar to how Hegel makes his way through spirit, and yet
      > there is a categorial development not unlike the /Logic/. the matter
      > requires more serious discussion and less partisanship on this side or
      > the other.
      >
      > Pepperell's pragmatism is, btw, a definite weakness. she lacks a
      > concepts, of, well, concept. I recommend a look at Vidar
      > Thorsteinsson's "The Social Efficacy of Abstraction" for a critique of
      > both Pepperell and Zizek.
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Chris
      >
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      >



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    • Ulrich Barth
      Oh, I beg your pardon for my misunderstanding! Von meinem iPhone gesendet ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 71 of 71 , Nov 29, 2012
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        Oh, I beg your pardon for my misunderstanding!

        Von meinem iPhone gesendet

        Am 29.11.2012 um 13:02 schrieb "Tahir Wood" <twood@...>:

        > No this is Will, not me!
        > T
        >
        > >>> Ulrich Barth <ulrich.barth@...> 11/29/2012 12:58 pm >>>
        > Hi Tahir,
        >
        > I think this mail to Will is yours.
        > > The only thing I can think that I may be missing is that I am still,
        > > despite Chris's reminder, conflating surplus-value and profit. But
        > > surely profit is fluid if surplus-value is?
        > >
        >
        > Von meinem iPhone gesendet
        >
        > Am 29.11.2012 um 08:43 schrieb "Tahir Wood" <twood@...>:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > >>> William Yate <willyate@...> 11/28/2012 12:40 pm >>>
        > > Surplus-value is just the swag the board of directors divvies up
        > > amongst themselves after they set fire to their Bangladeshi workers.
        > > It's unearned money—and perhaps "unearned" is normative, but
        > > "normative" doesn't mean "incalculable."
        > >
        > > The only thing I can think that I may be missing is that I am still,
        > > despite Chris's reminder, conflating surplus-value and profit. But
        > > surely profit is fluid if surplus-value is?
        > >
        > > Will, you are not just conflating surplus value with profit, in your
        > > above comments you are positively equating them. Your 'definition'
        > there
        > > of surplus value is actually a definition of profit. Obviously if
        > you
        > > keep on maintaining this then the discussion is a waste of time.
        > Surplus
        > > value is not profit, it is an explanation of how profit is possible.
        > > Actual profit has a number of determinants, some of them very complex
        > in
        > > their own right. Consider this (which you haven't done yet):
        > Capitalists
        > > are not one big club who share out the profits that they have
        > jointly
        > > made by jointly exploiting the working class. They compete with one
        > > another. They try to force one another out of business. They engage
        > in
        > > dodgy accounting practices. Some of them try to compete by working
        > > obsolete machinery until it breaks while others are always investing
        > in
        > > new technology to try to bring down prices. In some cases profit is
        > a
        > > function of processing speed. And then there is supply and demand,
        > etc.
        > > etc. All of these are factors in the pursuit of profits. They have
        > only
        > > an oblique relation to the notion of surplus value.
        > >
        > > Surplus value is an explanation of how it is that profit is
        > possible.
        > > It is thus a kind of real abstraction (or abstract real). It is not
        > some
        > > quantity of stuff.
        > >
        > > Tahir
        > >
        > >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >


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