[OPE-L:2830] Re: relabeling commodities, value, and socialism

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 22:04:40 EDT

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Reply to Allin's [OPE-L:2829]:

> Marx
> says that the "division of a product into a useful thing and a
> value [characteristic of the commodity] becomes practically
> important, only when exchange has acquired such an extension
> that useful articles are produced for the purpose of being
> exchanged, and their character as value has therefore to be
> taken into account, beforehand, during production" (Capital, I,
> ch. 1 sect. 4).

Marx also says at the beginning of that section that: "A commodity appears
at first sight an extremely obvious, trivial thing. But its analysis
brings out that it is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical
subtleties and theological niceties". A comprehension of the "magical
character of the commodity" as explained by the fetishism of the commodity
is *certainly* a different understanding of the meaning of the term
"commodity" than is generally used by economic historians -- who would
indeed (mostly) view such a characterization as "idiosyncratic".

In solidarity, Jerry

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