Value theory and the "golden eggs": Appropriating the magic of accumulation

Sociological Theory 6 (2):131-152 (1988)
Prominent neo-Marxists have recently acknowledged longstanding criticisms of Marx's labor theory of value as at best a cumbersome and redundant price model but continue to variously defend the doctrine as an interpretation of historically observed class conflict between exploiters and exploited. This essay counters that value theory also fails badly as a "labor theory of exploitation." The fundamental flaw is the canonical premise that labor alone is productive, with normative implications closer to the entrepreneurial work ethic than to socialist standards of distributive justice. The essay then identifies an alternative theory of exploitation implied by Marx's earlier writings on alienation but obscured by his later association of exploitation with surplus value. What capital appropriates is not "surplus value" produced by labor, but the capacity to produce it, creating asymmetric interdependence within the division of labor. Exploitation arises in the mediation of this interdependence through the exchange of commodities
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    1 ( #306,410 of 1,089,063 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)


    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.