[OPE-L:2332] value-form theories

From: Michael Williams (michael@williamsmj.screaming.net)
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 08:27:07 EST

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----- Original Message -----
From: clyder <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
To: Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu>
Cc: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2000 10:05 AM
Subject: [OPE-L:2284] Re: Re: value-form theories

> > 2) Exchange is the only process whereby the private, concrete labour of
> > individuals becomes validated (socially constituted) as social, abstract
> > labour. There is thus, in this sense, no "independence" of abstract
> > labour and price.
> This is again ahistorical in that it eternalises capitalist conditions
> of production. The appearance of abstract labour as money is a
> limited phenomenon according to the communist viewpoint.

An alternative, of course, is that in your scheme of things it is abstract
labour that is an a-historical category . It is indeed clear that you seem
to ground abstract labour primarily in biology. From the value-form
perspective (and I suspect not only from this perspective) abstract labour
is a social (and therefore socially specific) form. Physiological 'abstract
labour' would then be merely potential abstract labour; a potential that is
ultimately actualised only under developed capitalism.

The disanalogy of Smith's Beaver/Deer hunter story is that there was no
social mechanism to ensure that Beaver and Deer actually systematically
exchanged in proportion to the hunting time required for each. Not
withstanding various pre-figurative partial forms, such mechanisms come to
dominate 'economic' intercourse only with the advent of capitalism.

btw, I have switched from Outlook *Express* 97 to Outlook 2000. Does that
help the problem with the 'reply to' field?

Dr Michael Williams
Economics and Social Sciences
De Montfort University
Milton Keynes
tel: +1908 834876
[Home: +1703 768641]
fax: 0870 133 1147
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