Kautsky parle

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Thu Sep 3 10:56:58 PDT 1998

I think working people are best positioned to understand the abstractions which dominate bourgeois society and captured in Marx's theory. Value theory is based on how labor time, abstracted from its concrete contents and special qualities just the way the proletariat experiences work, is expressed in money in bourgeois society and how it is dynamically allocated. Who better than workers can understand all the concepts about, say, the dollar as a monetary expression (and misrepresentation) of labor time or the wage as a fetishistic expression of necessary labor time or the division between necessary and surplus labor time itself or the difference between absolute and relative surplus value or the difference between the rate of exploitation and the real wage or the qualitative changes brought about by accumulation and expressed in the organic composition of capital?

The rentier classes and bourgeois economists shy away from understanding society in terms of the abstract expenditure of labor time. But this heroic abstraction is something the working class can much more easily grasp; it arises out of their lived reality after all.

best, rakesh

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