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The Theory Of The Value-Form

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Chapter Summary

The interpretation in terms of categorial order, by which the theory of the capitalist mode of production exists as a theory, totally excludes interpretation in terms of historical order: the transformation of the ‘forms’ into ‘stages’ empties the theory of its meaning. This chapter discusses the principle of development of the four ‘forms of value’. It talks about the actual notion of form of expression of value. The Hegelian tradition has neutralised the specifically Marxian categories by way of the Hegelian instruments that Marx employed. The problematic of the ‘expression of value’ is only established gradually, replacing the inadequate one of ‘relative value’. The chapter argues that there are three interpretations, each suggested by certain texts of Marx but relatively heterogeneous in nature: an interpretation as reification, an interpretation by way of the value-form, and a structural interpretation.

Keywords: capitalist mode; Hegelian tradition; Marx; reification; structural interpretation; value-form



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