ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Who Should Dalits Ally With

August 9, 1980 on the ground of 'to each according to his (unequal) needs'. In its political aspect this means that the right to socialist dissidenee and the socialists' right to change socialist governments is recognised in principle, as well as jn practice, so that socialist 'elitism' is guarded against and political equality assured. In short, it is necessary to fight for 'egalitarian socialism', as opposed to 'inegalitarian socialism'. Contemporary 'creative Marxism' must grapple with these problems, first of all, at the theoretical level IV It remains to raise an objection to one piece of orthodoxy which, it so happens quite unnecessarily, strikes a discordant note in Amin's otherwise unorthodox and creative reconstruction of the Marxian theory of social transformations. Throughout his chapters on the capitalist mode of production, Amin adheres strictly to the century-old Orthodox Marxian notion that 'labour is the sole source of value', and mates use of the orthodox notion of Marxian 'prices of production' as 'corrected labour values' in discussing questions of 'unequal development', 'the development of underdevelopment' etc. But these notions should be rejected on at least three grounds. First, it can be shown that logically if we agree that "labour is the only source of value", we cannot 'prove' that capitalists exploit workers to extract a surplus, which is the main purpose of the Marxian version of the 'labour theory of the value' and the starting point of Amin's analysis of capitalism. On the other hand, if we adopt the somewhat unorthodox notion that "capital is not a thing or a 'factor' on the same footing as land or labour, but a coercive social power", we can successfully prove the Marxian "exploitation theorem*. Secondly, it can be shown that the unorthodox 'capital theory approach' does better than the orthodox labour value approach' to lay bare the contours of certain central problems Amin tackles in his 'reconstruction' of Marxian theory. This is certainly true of the 'unequal relations' between classes and nations established through international trade and investment under capitalism functioning as a world system. It is also true of a discussion of the question as to whether a programme of establishing 'inegalitarian socialism can be replaced by a programme of establishing 'egalitarian socialism' (in the sense referred to above). Thirdly, although it is true that the 'orthodox' but untenable labour value approach is to be found in all of Marx's writings, it is also true that the 'unorthodox' but valid capital theory approach is also to be found side by side in all of Marx's writings, though less systematically worked out than the 'orthodox approach'. (However, with the modem work of Sraffa, to which Amin refers, notably on p 150, there is no difficulty in systematising Marx's 'capital theory approach'.) Hence, there is no reason why Amin, who has creatively retrieved several of Marx's neglected insights and rejected others, should not rely on the 'capital theory, approach' rather than the labour value' approach to be found in Marx's writings, to reconstruct the Marxian theory of social transformation of world capitalism to world socialism.

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