- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Gee's 1,085 Word Straw Man

Posted by: Barry Stoller on October 27, 1999 at 10:32:34:

In Reply to: Labor theory of value again posted by Gee on October 26, 1999 at 16:20:05:

: So much for labor theory of value.

1,085 words to prove that while Gee may have read Capital, he certainly didn't understand it.

: The theory states basically that the value of an object is solely a result of the labor expended to produce it.

Gee's first problem is that word basically. 'Basically,' his explanation of the labor theory of value omits many important qualifications necessary to comprehend Marx's labor theory of value.

One of the most primary of these omissions is use-value (see Capital, second page).

Gee has set up Marx's theory (in 'basic' language) so the many sophisticated and intricate exceptions to and qualifications of Marx's theory, as stated throughout Marx's work BY Marx, cannot be plausibly explained.

: The other approach is the market-exchange theory. According to this theory, value is not inherent in objects, but is a product of many different consumer judgments. According to market-exchange theories, value depends upon people's desires: the more they esteem an object and are willing to trade for it, the more it is worth. This theory is the basis of free-market capitalism, which Marx bitterly opposed.

Hooray! Gee to save the day!

Only leaving out socially necessary labor time, from volume one, that is...

Not explaining Marx correctly or comprehensively, Gee is quite at liberty to point out 'Marx's errors' to the satisfaction of the ignorant.

: Not all economically active 'products' are created by labor, nice weather areas being popular and driving up house prices is not the result of labor.

Only leaving out Marx's theory of ground rent from volume two, that is...

: So labor does not determine value - the best it can do is add a condition as quoted above...

Gee's technique: leave out most of Marx's essential exceptions and qualifications---THEN STEP IN TO EXPLAIN FOR MARX what Marx's theory is.

: For example, most workers prefer to be paid when their work is completed rather than when their products are sold which may be months later. For workers to be paid now, rather than later, someone must advance their wages, and clearly this service has a value...

Only leaving out Marx's exposition of turnover time from volume two, that is...

Then he triumphantly asks:

: How is this to be resolved...

Gee to save the day!

It can be easily 'resolved' when IT IS NOT PRESENTED CORRECTLY IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Perhaps I should explain all of Gee's omissions, clarify the many points that he made a mess of...

Then again, why should I? (Would Frenchy get it?)

The best explanation is at your local used bookstore, available for about ten bucks (remember, itís three books, not one).

No one who reads it---and understands it---will be ever see the world the same way again...

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