NOTE 14: Proof is for real sciences, not labor theory?
What sort of science is this that Marxists believe in? According to Michael Heinrich:
“Tied up with the question concerning the difference between Marx’s value theory and classical value theory is the question of whether Marx had “proven” the labor theory of value, that is, whether he had established beyond the shadow of a doubt that labor and nothing else underlies the value of a commodity. This question has been frequently discussed in the literature about Marx. But as we’re about to see, Marx was not at all interested in such a “proof [value lies behind prices].”
That statement is from Michael Heinrich’s Introduction to the three volumes of Capital, chapter 3, section 2, and it is just astonishing.
To understand the flaw in Heinrich’s reasoning, remove Marx and insert Einstein: “Einstein was not at all interested in such a proof of the existence of space-time relativity.”
Or, remove Marx and insert Darwin: “Darwin was not at all interested in such a proof of evolution.”
Would physicists or biologists accept this argument from Heinrich? Why would anyone who calls herself a Marxist? We are discussing the whole underlying structure of a modern capitalist economy, but we don’t require proof for that structure? We can just wing it until we get to extremely complex questions like the transformation problem or whether there is a law of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, where, all of a sudden, proof value is behind prices and profits is demanded?
And Marxists wonder why no one takes them seriously.
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