A Japanese Reconstruction of Marxist Theory by Robert Albritton

By Robert Albritton

A detailing of the consequences of Kozo Uno's political and monetary concept. attempts to give an explanation for the humanistic strength of Marxist conception.

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Despite many passages in Marx's writings that seem to reject 30 Political Economy the logical-historical method, one can find other passages that support it, and this is because Marx himself was unclear about the relation between the law of value and history. For example, Marx begins Capital with the sequence 'commodity', 'money' and 'capital', and it seems that this parallels history where at first there is commodity barter without money, then there is the use of money to promote commodity trade, and finally there is the development of capital as a profit-making activity.

Because the law of value is a purely economic theory, this metaphor would imply economic determinism at the level of history except for local frictions. But this is very inadequate because as Uno and Sekine point out, even at the rather abstract level of stage theory, the state and ideology playa significant role in supporting the law of value, and at the level of historical analysis the political and ideological become much more than simply oil to the frictions to the law of value. Furthermore, contrary to Marx, it is not correct for classical economists to regard the mobility of capital and labour as 'axiomatic', since this blinds them to the fact that the economic relations are historically specific reified social relations.

In the expanded form of value all commodity-owners express the values of their commodities in terms of the use-values of commodities they want. In this form the isolated character of the first value-form is overcome and the generally implicit in value is brought out; but this form of value is chaotic because there is potentially an infinite list of proposed exchanges without any unifying factor. This form generates an indefinite number of small monies. The necessity for money as universal equivalent now becomes apparent.

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