Re: Jacobinism and the labour theory of value | Paul Cockshott | Midwestern Marx

Michael Meeropol

I really like the whole first part of the discussion by Comrade Cockshott but I am bothered by the simple empirical investigations which purport to prove the scientific bonafides of the LTV --

Where does the MONETARY EQUIVALENT OF LABOR come from?   It cannot be the wages because if it were, there would be no surplus value.   If it is what the empiricists today call "value added" then the equation that is being tested according to the article is actually an IDENTITY -- where the "monetary equivalent of labor" is gotten by dividing the quantity of labor in a particular industrial sector into the total value for which that output is sold.

(the 98 percent correlation then becomes statistical noise)

In either case, this does not seem to prove anything to me.

NOW -- I have to admit to not having studied the LTV for quite some time so my memory of where the "monetary equivalent of labor" comes from might be very faulty ---

[The other part of my concern is I wonder if the right had side of the equation is actually talking about what Marx called "prices of production" which were NOT the same as the units of "socially necessary labor time" --- giving rise of course to the so-called "transformation problem" that has been an issue in Marxian economics since Bohm-Bawerk thought he had refuted Marx right after Volume III was published ...]

Hope there is a relatively simple way of helping me out here ....

On Mon, Jun 20, 2022 at 1:02 AM Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo <kklcac@...> wrote:

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