VALUE AND PRICE
Introductory remarks: We come now to that phase of our subject which is the most difficult, namely, the political economy of Socialism in general and the much disputed theories of value and surplus-value in particular. Enough books and pamphlets have been written explaining, attacking and defending these pivotal Marxian doctrines to form a large library by themselves. Contrary to the old adage that "in a multitude of counsellors there is wisdom," the student is more than likely to be confused by the multitude of counsellors represented by this voluminous literature.
The subject is necessarily somewhat abstract and difficult. To master it requires patience and perseverance together with at least ordinary capacity for mental perception. If the student has these, the most elemental requisites of sound scholarship, he will find that the difficulties to be mastered are only great enough and numerous enough to stimulate his intellectual ambition and energy.
Pitfalls to be avoided: The way of the student will be made easier if certain common causes of confusion are foreseen and avoided. One of the most common of these causes of confusion lies in the fact that many students and critics of Marx enter upon the study of his theories with preconceived mental concepts more or less clearly defined, but altogether erroneous, of which they do not divest themselves. With this bias as a foundation they are practically unable to get a mental picture of Marx's theories which is not more or less distorted by their preconceived errors. For example, the student who has read a little political economy and something less of Socialism has heard or read the claim made by some critics of Marx, such as Mr. W. H. Mallock, that the central idea in Socialist economics is that all wealth is the product of ordinary manual labor, and, therefore, ought