Can any of the Marx people help out with a quick (but probably very complicated) problem?
How is value transformed into price?
I know this relates to the so-called transformation problem in volume 3 (haven't got there yet - still plowing through volume 2), but when asked recently how value becomes price I was deeply embarressed to find that I simply didn't know, or was at least able to give only the most rudimentary answer. Marx establishes a provisional identity between value and price in volume 1, assuming for the sake of clarity that commodities are sold at their real values. ...but value might not be realised in price; I might end up selling my goods for more or less than the value embodied in them.
Now, if I can't demonstrate that labour value really lies behind price, on what basis am I able to defend the thesis of surplus value? How am I able to claim that Marx's entire analysis is anything other than supposition? Sure, he gives us mountains of evidence to prove his points, and there's the deduction that everything is the product of labour right at the beginning - but if I can't come up with a decent answer as to how value becomes price, I'd seem to be standing on rather unsteady ground.