Vaue, use-value and things.

Interesting passage from Capital volume 1 highlighting what I think are important differences between Marx and Hegelian-Marxist interpretations of value qua reification and need. Note that that Marx does not reduce labour-power– nor the labourers who sell it– to a mere thing. See also how important it is that Marx’s definition of use-value as an article of utility, to which capital is both reliant on and indifferent to, is to the process of valorisation. This goes against readings which interpret use-value in terms of need and argue that use-value has been replaced by the lust for exchange-value. Instead the fact that commodities must only serve as items or utility is an essential underpinning of capitalism:

‘Value exists only in use-values, in things, if we leave aside its purely symbolic representation by tokens. (Man himself, viewed merely as the physical existence of labour-power, is a natural object, a thing, although a living, conscious thing, and labour is the physical manifestation [dingliche Ausserung] of that power.) If therefore an article loses its use-value it also loses its value … But however important it may be to value that it should have some use-value to exist in, it is still a matter of complete indifference what particular object serves this purpose’. 310

About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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