Political Context of Narration with Karl Marx’s Wert-terminology:
Cost vs Value


Tulchinskii G.L.,

Professor, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University; National Research University Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg; Saint Petersburg State University, gtul@mail.ru

elibrary_id: 77845 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.03.11
Rubric: DIXI!

For citation:

Tulchinskii G.L. Political Context of Narration with Karl Marx’s Wert-terminology: Cost vs Value. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No 3. P. 174-185 (In Russ.) . DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.03.11


The article was prepared with the support of the Russian Scientific Foundation, project No.18-18-00442 “Mechanisms of sense formation and textualization in social narrative and performative”


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Abstract

The paper discusses the semantic models that determine the practice of the Russian translation of the key terminology of Karl Marx, as well as the ensuing consequences of choosing a simplifying interpretational strategy for such a translation and determining its political pragmatics. This strategy is a request for a scientific concept that rejects the prospect of capitalist development, as well as the goals of propaganda and political education. The terms der Wert (value), das Wertding (valuable thing), die Wertgegenständlichkeit (value objectivity) were translated as “cost” in the canonical translation, enshrined in the publication of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism (1937). At the same time, two fundamentally different aspects of the product der Gebrauchswert (value as utility is a quality characteristic, not quantifiable) and der Tauschwert (exchange value, the ability to proportionally exchange) were translated, respectively, as use cost and exchange cost. This interpretation formed the basis of discursive practices in education, social sciences, journalism, and media. The “value” translation versions were actually removed from scientific use. However, the “cost paradigm” significantly reduces the analysis of market relations and contexts. This is confirmed by the appeal to the original texts of the first and second editions of “Capital”. Discussions regarding the transfer of K. Marx’s terminology in “Capital” are not only instructive, but have important perspectives. Nowadays, the question has grown beyond the scope of a word dispute. The failure of value-to-value reduction is manifested in the problems of neoliberalistic marginalism, the coming to the fore social and cultural (neoinstitutionalism, “culture matters”), psychological and communicative (R. Taler) factors of economic relations. At the same time, the value nature of market relations is important both in concepts like “global value chains” (M. Porter, G. Jerreffy) and in the practices of transformative investment (Impact Investing), including on the blockchain platform. This forces to return to the conceptual content of the original terms and rethinking practices appropriate narration. 

Keywords
blockchain, cost, discursive practices, impact investing, interpretational strategies, Marxism, narration, use value, value chains.


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