The Value Dimension: Marx Versus Ricardo and Sraffa (Economy and Society Series)
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The essays in this edited collection, first published in 1986, focus on important debates surrounding the central Marxian problem of the transformation of values into prices. The collection brings together major contributions on the value theory debate from the decade prior to the book’s publication, and assesses the debate’s significance for wider issues. Value theory emerges as much more than a technical relation between labour time and prices, and the structure of the capitalist economy is scrutinised. This is a relevant and comprehensive work, valuable to students, academics and professionals with an interest in political and Marxist economy.
cannotmechanicallytranslatethe reproduction schemaof the secondvolume of Capital into the analysisa socialistsociety. On the more substantialpoint concerningthe disappearance of the law of value undersocialism. It was of courseJosephStalin who terminatedthe discussionwhich had long continuedin the USSRwith his edict that the law of value did indeedcontinueto operatewithin Soviet economy,albeit in 'modified' form. This pronouncementstill continuesto form the basisfor official Soviet thinking in
Yaffe's assertionthat 'Anything else makesnonsenseof Marx's theory of value' can lead peopleonly to the conclusionthat it is Marx's theory of va1uethat is nonsense.The perniciouseffect of Yaffe's position, which is, ultimately, simply a sophisticated version of vulgar Marxism with its fetishized attitude toward the primacy of production, is that it opens the way for neo-Ricardianssuch as Hodgsonto preemptthe field of discussion. A word should be said about Bortkiewicz's 'solution'. It is the most
oee concern accumulationand productivity increase.It is the failure of many writers to distinguish the three compositionsof capital, and particularly the oee and vee, that has led to errors of interpretation of Marx's theory of accumulationwhether in the context of rent or not. As mentioned earlier, the distinction between accumulation through the centralisationand concentrationof capital does not simply concern the method of financing, it is related to definite stages of capitalist
law of market value, to which the productsof the soil are subject.The determination of the marketvalue of products,including therefore agricultural products,is a social act, albeit a socially unconsciousand unintentionalone. It is basednecessarilyupon the exchangevalue of the product, not upon the soil and the differencesof its fertility (III, p. 661). Marx's treatment has been quite wrongly seenby many to be 124 Ben Fine identical to Ricardo'stheory of the extensivemargin.!O It is based upon
slightest13 . Criticism of the origin of surplus profit as the basis for the existenceof AR doesnot meanthat considerationsof the origin of surplus profit have no relevancefor the analysisof rent. The basis for the surplus profits might have important implications for the state of classstruggle in agriculture. In specific historical circumstancesthe level of rent might depend onthe ability to depressthe wages of agricultural workers below the value of labour-power. This will increasefarmers'