Value Theory, Real Abstraction, and Critical Theory

There is an ongoing debate in Marxian value theory about the creation of value. In this debate it is often argued that value-form theory holds that value is created in exchange. Other literature on criticizes Sohn-Rethel, Adorno and other early critical theorists for neglecting labor. The former and the latter are true for Sohn-Rethel and the latter is also somewhat true for Adorno. Yet I think these criticisms miss the forest for the trees by failing to consider why Adorno and the critical theory strand of value-form theory focus on exchange. To make a long story short, exchange is necessary to understand society, socialization, and subjectivity in the peculiar social reality of capitalist society. To be sure, the historically-specific social form of labor is likewise necessary. That is why it’s a question of bringing these two approaches together rather than engaging in the same tedious debates.

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Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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