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Labour Theory of Value

"A Word on Marxism"

 It is not an exaggeration to state that to-day "Marxism” is becoming almost a household word. Unfortunately this does not mean that over the wide world millions of people have become thoroughly acquainted with the fundamentals of Marxian doctrines. Rather does it signify that the word “Marxist” has become the modern equivalent of “heretic” or “turk.” In other words, when a man is to-day called a “Marxist” people are usually expressing strong disapproval, although they may have little or no idea of the real meaning of the word they are using. As members of the working class concerned with the crying social evils of the modem world we cannot afford such loose thinking. We do not brand or abuse our political opponents; but are concerned rather with a thorough examination of their point of view. We do not reject or accept their statements out of hand.

The Importance of Marxism—(continued)

 In last month's Socialist Standard we dealt in some detail with Marx's important discovery—the materialist conception of history. We showed that this conception was a scientific guide to the interpretation of historical events. In the light of this discovery, capitalism is depicted as a passing phase of social development and Socialists as pioneers of a new and more progressive order of society. This primary aspect of Marxism does not, however, exhaust the range of "Scientific Socialism." The extremely complicated internal structure of capitalism stands also in need of analysis, for unless we understand the working of this mechanism our demand for a Socialist society can rest only on historical foundations.

Is Marx's Theory of Value Sound?

 A DEBATE AT LEYTON

 About five hundred people were present at the Leyton Town Hall, on Sunday, March 8th, to hear the debate between the London Constitutional Labour Movement and the S.P.G.B. The subject for debate was, "Is Marx’s Theory of Value Unsound? ” Councillor A. Smith occupied the chair.

 Mr. Kirkley (of the L.C.L.M.) opened the debate to show that “Marx’s Theory is unsound.” He stated that the subject for debate was of the greatest importance, and indeed, so exceedingly deep that he doubted whether all in the audience would fully comprehend the arguments advanced by both sides. It was necessary for them to understand Marx, for in his opinion, much of the industrial unrest of to-day could be traced to the influence of Marx’s writings.

Marx's Labour Theory of Value

    "Take the theory of water motion. We pipe water, we regulate its flow differently in ordinary wells, in artesians, springs, etc. Is the theory of the flow of water explained by listing the specific bores, drills, pumps, and pipes? No. There is an abstract physical theory of the flow of all water, the science of hydraulics, and this abstract theory ignores the individual forms of the motion of water, describes no particular form of water whatever, and describes no actual phenomenon exactly as it takes place. But its theory describes them and its laws govern them and unless we have this abstract theory we have no means of understanding anything. And this despite the fact that water is abstractly described and yet, in practice, it is always concretely availed of.

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