[OPE-L:3061] Re: Simple Commodity Production

From: Dr Michael J Williams (mike.williams@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 06:22:04 EDT

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----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Cockshott <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 10:23 AM
Subject: [OPE-L:3059] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple Commodity Production

Paul writes:

> I would hold that commodities have exchange value independently
> of whether their producers are wage labourers , free artisans or slaves.
> ... I am unable to see how one
> can tell by looking at the process of sale of a commodity, the
> legal conditions under which its producers worked. The seller
> puts it up for sale and gets back a sum of money in all cases
> except simple barter.

This, of course, is the crux of the disagreement between Paul and (perhaps
inter alia) a value-form approach: it is doubtful whether you can tell
anything very much from 'looking at the process of a sale'.

In order to discover something about a social category such as value, we
need to 'look at' instantiations of it as interconnected elements within the
social system of which they are elements. Of course, since we cannot 'see'
interconnected systems directly, we need the mediation of the abstraction
and systematic conceptual presentation that Paul so often seems to find to
be a diversion from the 'real science'.

Dr Michael Williams
Principal Lecturer in Economics and Social Sciences
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
De Montfort University
Milton Keynes
+1908 834876
[home: +1703 768641]

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