[OPE-L:3176] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re:starting points

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Sat May 13 2000 - 08:56:14 EDT

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Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Good morning Ajit,
> not quite sure whether you answered my point that we have to specify what
> kind of labor produces value and surplus value.
> The brevity of your questions does not let on to what you are getting at,
> so I will only be a bit less brief in replying.
> >What is *value*?
> Socially necessary labor time required to *re*produce a commodity; it is
> not the labor time embodied or energy expended in making a commodity


You are telling me what it is not. I wanna know what it is. What is "Socially
necessary labor time required to *re*produce a commodity" in your opinion. Since
time has only quantitative dimension, I think it is legitimate on my part to ask
you to give me some answer about how does one finds out this "time required to
reproduce a commodity"?

> >On what ground you know that "they [value] have to be modes of expression of
> the same undifferentiated human labor"?
> Marx argues that because any two commodities can be rendered equivalent in
> terms of the same money denominator, they must contain the same substance.


By the way, let me refresh your memory. Two commodities were rendered equivalent
before the concept was introduced in chapter one. Check your sources.

> Marx then reasons this substance can only be abstract labor or the same
> undifferentiated labor, though this would only seem to have a phantom
> objectivity.

_______________But I was interested in knowing what you think is "abstract
labor". And not "Marx then reasons...".

> >you need to tell us how do you measure it {value} before you start telling
> us about its rise or fall.
> The question is not how I measure commodity value; the question is how it
> is in fact determined in bourgeois society.


Okay! Then tell us that.

> Commodity value cannot be
> determined in terms of the logic of being, only the logic of essence, as
> our Hegelian friends would put it. That is, commodity value can only be
> reflected in some quantity of the use value which plays the role of the
> universal equivalent--there are further peculiarities to the value form.

> Moreover, such representation of commodity value is necessarily

> misrepresentation; Marx argues that such discrepancy must be built into the
> price form if it is through prices that we are dynamically allocating our
> social labor time.
> Yours, Rakesh


Now, don't you think that you are giving me a good example of what I call
"mumbo-jumbo". In the beginning you defined value in terms of time, which has no
other than quantitative dimension. Now you are trying to use heavy sounding words
to get away from it all. You say, "Commodity value cannot be determined in terms
of the logic of being, only the logic of essence, as
our Hegelian friends would put it". But I thought it was you who was heavy on
Marx's ontology. Now you say value cannot be determined by the logic of *being*
(I'm not sure whether you know what ontology stands for) . Any way, what is
"logic of essence". Does this mean deductive logic? Because "essentialism"
usually works with deductive logic. In this case, you shouldn't have any problem
in deducing commodity value and give a simple answer to my simple question.
Cheers, ajit sinha

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