[OPE-L:2341] Re: Re: value-form theories

From: clyder (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 05:56:49 EST

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> To clarify, i'm not implying that there is no sense in comparing the
> of hours, on average, that go into tailoring and the number of hours that
> go into making a microchip - so long as we recognise that accounting of
> this sort is only meaningful if we are talking about capitalism. Even
> we must be very clear about what that measure actually means, what it
> us, and what it doesn't tell us. I don't think that we can know anything
> about the value of commodities as the result of any such measures. The
> meaning of these measures is to be found in the context of struggles over
> the length of the working day, or working conditions, i.e. if we are
> talking about the *process* of producing *surplus value* (not the
> *definition of value* per se).

I think this all comes down to the questions you are trying to ask. Allin
and I
have been concerned for a number of years with the political economy of
communism. We consider, an we are certainly not the first to come to this
conclusion, that calculations in terms of labour time are essential to
the regulation of a communist economy. Such calculations are essentially
in terms of abstract labour.

That is why I regard the treatment of abstract labour as a specifically
capitalist feature as inadequate.

> What does seem clear is that Marx set up the category of the commodity to
> represent a double duality. A duality of use-value and value; and a
> duality of concrete labour (the labour that creates use-values) and
> abstract labour (the labour that creates values). Under capitalism - a
> system of *private production for exchange* - the dualities are
> irreconcilable since independent producers create only use-values for
> others, while depending upon the sale of the products of labour (in the
> case of capitalists) or the sale of labour-power (in the case of workers)
> in order to have their own needs met. I don't see how this opposition
> between concrete/abstract and use-value/value can be overcome
> except through socialism/communism. All talk of socialism/communism that
> reduces these distinctive features of capitalism (the historicity of the
> abstract/concrete and value/use-value duality, and therefore the
> of the market) doesn't make much sense to me.

All societies, including socialist or communist ones must have a mechanism
for regulating the distribution of labour into different concrete
Why does this not make sense?

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