By J. Short, Zygmunt G Baranski
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Extra info for Developing Contemporary Marxism
However, if Marx could thus formulate the dynamics of capitalism in a way which lay beyond the reach of classical political economy, this suggests that his value theory is rather different from the classical labour theory of value. Such an assessment lies at the heart of modern controversies in value theory, as also does the specification of that difference. It is these that must now be considered. 4 VALUE AND VALUE-FORM Perhaps the most enduring controversy within Marxian economics concerns the extent to which Marx's account of the relationship of the form of value in exchange to its content in production can account adequately for capitalist competition.
In a society based on private property, these activities are private, separated from one another, employed in particular production processes. As such, an individual commodity is merely the objectification of the labour of its own particular production process, and cannot claim to be universally representative. Private, independent labours can only have a social, dependent character if they express themselves in a particular commodity which directly represents to all other commodities their value-equivalence.
Such a commodity is labour-power, the capacity to work. Individuals sell their labour-power for a wage. The purchaser realises the use-value of labour-power by causing it to be consumed in a production process. The consumption of labour-power is the production of commodities whose value, realised in sale, is greater than the value of the labour-power (plus material inputs used up) engaged in production, and the extra value (unpaid labour) is a surplusvalue accruing to the money-owner as an expansion of her/his money holdings.
Developing Contemporary Marxism by J. Short, Zygmunt G Baranski