Marx Contra Lukacs in 1861-63.

Here’s a passage that I think does a good job of highlighting why Lukacs conflation of objectification with the social character of things (commodities as imbued with value) is problematic missing the importance in Marx’s analysis of why and how these things possess value:

“As values, commodities are social magnitudes, that is to say, something absolutely different from their “PROPERTIES” AS “THINGS”. As VALUES, they constitute only relations of men in their PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY. VALUE indeed “IMPLIES EXCHANGES”, but EXCHANGES are EXCHANGES OF THINGS BETWEEN MEN; EXCHANGES which in no way affect the things as such. A thing retains the same “PROPERTIES” whether it be owned by A or by B. In actual fact, the concept “VALUE” presupposes “EXCHANGES” of the products. Where labour is communal, the relations of men in their social production do not manifest themselves as *“values” of “things”. Exchange of products as commodities is a certain method of exchanging labour, and [the form] of the dependence of the labour of each upon the labour of the others, a certain mode of social labour or social production.” MECW 32 317


About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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