February 20, 2008
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So Nate has tagged me for a meme on a day when I am feeling flat and uninspired – and, amusingly, the meme sends me to an article I’ve been meaning to re-read for the longest time – it’s like the universe is conspiring against my procrastination. Next to me on the desk is Diane Elson’s “The Value Theory of Labour”, from Value: The Representation of Labour in Capitalism (1979, CSE Books, ed. Elson). The meme commands:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
There is some slight ambiguity over what constitutes the fifth sentence – do I count the fragment spilling over from the previous page? I’ll start with the first whole sentence… The three sentences (in some ways less interesting than the previous ones) are:
This does not mean that Marx was not concerned with price, nor its relation to the magnitude of value, but that the phenomena of exchange are not the object of the theory. (Again this is not a completely new thought, see Hussain, this volume, p. 84.) My argument is that the object of Marx’s theory of value was labour.
I really should take this opportunity to discuss what Elson means here, and the relationship between my position and hers. But I haven’t had coffee yet – and have a pile of Badiou to read today (note that, in spite of this, somehow Being and Event didn’t manage to be the book closest to me when I read Nate’s request… ;-P). So Badiou is coming with me for coffee, and I’ll have to write on Elson some other time…
But now I’m meant to tag people… My least favourite part of all memes… ;-P How about I pick on Tom, Ryan/Aless (by the way R/A, I’ve been meaning for ages to reply to your post on Ideology, and still intend to do so – I’ve just been caught up in other obligations), Alexei, L Magee (from whom I’m really wanting a promised post on the concept of sublation, but maybe this will get things started… ;-P), and Praxis.