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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

Hi Stefan!

Jakob pointed to reciprocity and accounting mechanisms in non capitalistic market economies, so one has to answer the question of the relation between accounting and value theories. Accounting is even part of gift economies, since those also relate on the evaluation of gifts in the sense that there are expectations to be fulfilled and hence rest on a common value formation as part of a social process. Gifts form in that sense a special "credit money" system that have to be returned in due times to reproduce social relations. Normally even in a husband-wife system accounting is present in the sense that there are private counts coming into conflict ocassionally. Resolving those conflicts means to establish a bilaterally agreed "value practise".

Hence, surely only a part of Marxian value theory can be "a specific theory for capitalism". The more, what is capitalism, if there is capitalism after "the end of capitalims as we know it" (E.Altvater)? Marx value theory as developed in the "Capital" is surely only a value theory of standardized mass production using standardized labour (as implicitely coined in the much disputed three introductory chapters of vol. 1) in the setting of the machine age of the late 18th century. Even a capitalistic money theory has to go beyond that (including, e.g., a rent theory).

Am 15.03.2012 11:44, schrieb Stefan Meretz:
The problem here, as I see it, is to take into account, that marxian
value theory is a specific theory for capitalism, and not a
transhistorical one. In a post-capitalist society, commonism or [put
your favorite word here], a value theory is not longer valid, because
it has no subject.

Assuming that peer production is a germ form of a post-capitalist
society, describing peer-production in terms of the old society
(capitalism), implies, that we are re-importing the logics of those
principles we going to overcome. A free post-capitalist society can
definitely not be understood in terms of a value theory -- and Marx
was aware of this problem (in the "Grundrisse").

Michel, my feeling is, that intuitively you see this problem. You try
to cover it by using two different types of value theory: a subjective
one and a kind of marxian one. For example, this can be found here:
You are talking about "extract value from nature". This "value" has
nothing to do with "value" in the Marxian sense. In Marxian theory
"value" is purely appears societally when private producers exchange
their products. It is a result of a societal process of "comparision"
of each efforts to produce the products. A theory of money-value can
be derived from that.

This is a very shortcut of Marxian value theory, since its value theory is a labour value theory, hence "when private producers exchange their products" value "appears societally", but it was "produced" during labour on a foreign need, so the exchange has to be preempted already before starting the production. Hence the "comparision of efforts" goes on very private levels, that constitute a social coherence process of information watching the "blind market" with very open minds (and eyes). Only for reminder - you know all that very well.



  Dr. Hans-Gert Graebe, apl. Prof., Inst. Informatik, Univ. Leipzig
  postal address: Postfach 10 09 20, D-04009 Leipzig
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