quinta-feira, 20 de outubro de 2016

Robert Kurz sobre a utilidade marginal

deep eyes

 Já publiquei aqui um bocadinho de material do e sobre o Kurz, então não vou me dedicar a falar quem ele é de novo. Segue um trecho de um artigo do Kurz (intitulado ''Marx 2000'') cuja tradução foi publicada mês passado (30/09/2016):

The Marxian analysis of the capitalist deep structure, with its immanent fetishism, reveals the negative character of the labor-substance and its value-form. This crucial point has been ignored bashfully by the Marxism of the labor movement, and has been dismissed by the official economic science as "philosophical nonsense". In the context of the rejection of the Marxian Theory, academic science even discarded the doctrine of the beourgeois classical economists, who regarded the expended amount of labor as the content of economic value. The dominant consciousness kept only the ethically repressive meaning and moral of the positive term of labor and thereby protected itself through ignorance against the discovery of their own irrational constitution, which lurks in the Marxian term of fetishism. Economics became the superficial theory of marginal utility, or the theory of subjective value. Within this theory – the foundation of today’s mainstream economics – the term of value is entirely dissolved into the appearance of price and, in turn, price is reduced to the purely subjective utility-calculations made by market participants (whose existence and constitution are assumed a priori). This post-classical theory does not really intend to and is not able to explain anything. Rather, its purpose is to bring the calculations of the market subjects into a systematic and computable form. Within the social sciences, mathematics appears on the scene at the point when the critical impulse has been lost and when one tries to bring the description of the social context, which lacks a theoretical explanation, back under control.
However, the proposition that price can be reduced to subjective calculations of utility and that it has nothing to do with some sort of an objective substance of value, is plausible only in unusual situations, outside the implicitly assumed social relations. For example, in the famous idea of the "glass of water in the desert," whose marginal utility would rise to infinity. But examples of that sort are silly since they are not part of the ordinary performance of social-economic actions and can therefore not be considered to be the subject of economics. Within the real society of a commodity-producing system the explanatory power of the marginal utility calculations of use-values is practically zero. This is because, although market participants evidently weigh their subjective utility against the respective money price, they do not do this independent of social conditions; rather, they do this under objectified conditions, which are forced upon them and (a priori) influence their calculation in an unconscious manner. The theory of subjective value (price) confuses cause and effect here. Normally a certain good is disposable on a larger scale because the respective productivity has increased, i.e., the objective value of the single commodity (the expended amount of labor per good) has decreased through the diminution of its labor-substance. The subjective calculation of utility thus only follows, at best, the development of social productivity regarding the expenditure of labor.
However, the perception of smaller or greater utility in relationship to the level of human needs in no way regulates the production of goods. For instance, assume a growing mass of unemployed and recipients of welfare, people who are not able to buy certain desired and necessary goods: an increase in their subjective calculation of utility concerning these goods by no means causes a rise in prices of these goods; they are on the contrary more likely to fall, because demand decreased as a result of missing purchasing power, in spite of an increased social need. It is pure cynicism to attribute this fall in prices (consider a deflationary shock, for example) to a decline in marginal utility of the goods, due to a saturation of the corresponding needs. On the other hand, a lack of demand will not lead to any arbitrary decrease in prices below the objective labor-substance (according to the level of productivity), rather, it will precipitate a shut-down in production regardless of the unsatisfaction of (even vital) needs and an abundant capacity of production.
The theory of marginal utility, or the theory of subjective value, together with their various extensions in the twentieth century, wholly ignore that the capitalist order of society is not determined by the subjects of circulation, but by the irrational end-in-itself of production. The capitalist inversion of means and end, which Marx analysed, enforces firstly, that humans can in no way appear on the demand side of the goods markets without having previously sold their own skin in the labor market in the name of the systemic end-in-itself. Secondly, and following from this, the goods market is not at all the place where the calculations of use-value-utility made by independently producing subjects meet. Rather, the market, apparently being the place of the "freedom" of buying and selling, represents nothing but the sphere of the "realization of surplus-value," i.e., the reconversion of the expended quota of labor into the form of money capital. The goods market is in this respect only a pass-through for the ceaseless pulsating capitalist end-in-itself, and is far from being constituted by a sum of subjective calculations of utility. The exact opposite is the case: these calculations of utility are bound to the realm of the pre-existing capitalistic law of the system. The term of utility itself is determined by that, not by the sense of well-being and the satisfaction of needs of the market participants.

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