Price and Value

Some of my Late Capitalism students will have noticed footnote “3” in Chapter 8 of Moishe Postone’s Time, Labor, and Social Domination (Cambridge UP 1993:290):

As I have discussed, people in capitalism do not act directly in this regard on the basis of considerations of value, according to Marx; rather, their actions are shaped by considerations of price. A complete analysis of the underlying structural dynamic of capitalism, as grasped by the critique of political economy, would therefore have to show how individuals constitute this dynamic on the basis of its forms of appearance. Because my intention here, however, is only to clarify—on a very abstract logical level—the nature of this structural dynamic, I shall not address such considerations of the relation of structure and action.

Although I did not have this footnote in mind when I delivered my Chicago School address at Chicago this Winter, it is not unlikely that Postone planted the original seeds both for the paper and for the course. I am posting the paper on bSpace for students who are interested in the general direction of my analysis of price. For those interested in receiving a copy, but who do not have access to bSpace, please feel free to email me. Since the paper will be published, I ask that students not pass it on to individuals who will disseminate unedited versions of what is, after all, a work in progress.