[OPE-L:2387] Re: Chimps, owls and value-form theories

From: clyder (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Feb 21 2000 - 10:22:57 EST

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Duncan wrote

> Paul,
> If it is true that prices in capitalist economies are closely correlated
> with embodied labor coefficients, why is this an argument that a socialist
> economy with centralized allocation of resources should use embodied labor
> coefficients in planning?

It is not directly, but the context here was an argument against Samuelson
who argued that socialist economies should use 'bourgeois prices',
prices of production.

My point is that whilst there might be some abstract justification for this,
constructs one in terms of growth of population relative to productivity,
this is
outweighed by the desirability of getting rid of commodity fetishism.

Calculation in terms of labour values makes the social relations between the
producers transparent and un-mystified. As such it creates a massive
ideological pressure towards equality of rates of pay. Retention of monetary
calculation obfuscates this and makes it easier to justify what are
essentially class differentials in incomes.

Against this it may be argued that calculation in terms of direct labour
is potentially less economically efficient. What I was concerned to argue in
last post was that if such inefficiencies do exist, then they must exist in
economies as well, and as such not constitute an argument against

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