Episode 85: Value, Price & Prattle: A Response to Lopes, Byron, and Historical Materialism
Brendan interviews Andrew about his new article, “Value, Price & Prattle,” which responds to a recent paper in Historical Materialism by Jesse Lopes and Chris Byron. Andrew reiterates his request that the journal and its publisher retract the paper, because it misrepresents things that Marx and Andrew wrote and contains other serious errors. The co-hosts discuss one such misrepresentation: Lopes and Byron claim that Marx never stated that labor-time is a measure, right after quoting a sentence in which he did state this! Much of the segment deals with Lopes and Byron’s argument that the apparent contradiction between Marx’s value theory and real-world prices and profits can’t be solved mathematically, because prices are observable and measurable but values are not. Brendan and Andrew also discuss Lopes and Byron’s failure to understand what is meant by a “single system” interpretation of Marx’s value theory, and their denial that Marx converted amounts of labor-time into amounts of money and vice-versa. Andrew argues that Marx’s claim that labor creates value depends crucially on this conversion.
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