Re: I repent for asking


OK. One last try. I think we should reject Marx's theory of value before ever getting into it because it gives a misleading account  of the way tools and machines increase productivity. Let's go back to a time before capitalism and markets. A hunter-gatherer tribe stumbles across some sharp, flaky rocks one day. Lo and behold, someone gets the idea that it would be easier to skin game and make pelts by scraping the hide with the sharp edge of a rock. The productivity of the tribe has increased by the introduction of a new technology. Socially necessary labor time has been reduced for a given quantity of production. Did the sharp rock add to production? Yes. The rock by itself couldn't produce anything, but in combination with  labor it added to the productivity of this new form of labor. And like the production and reproduction of labor power, the cost in labor time to produce the sharp rock results in an increase in production greater than could have been produced by using labor time in the old way at the lower level of technology. Marx wants to come into this situation and say the rock does not add any value. He breaks any connection between value and productivity and says tools add no value. This disconnect is why Marx's price theory can't work and why exploitation alone cannot give a full account of how capitalists make profit. I don't pretend to have worked this out on my own. I have taken most of it from Chapter 4 of Gavin Kitching's Karl Marx and the Philosophy of Praxis, which goes into more detail about how Marx mixes up his accounting categories of price and value.

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