[OPE-L:3493] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: measurement of value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 00:22:59 EDT

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in 3484 Paul C wrote:

>Yes, but they only aquire exchange value if the government sells them off.

Again, I think the measure (exchange value) brings into the existence
property being measured (value). The qualitative formula does not precede
the quantiative one.

"On the one hand, commodities must enter the exchange process as
materialised universal human labor, on the other hand, the labour time of
individuals becomes materialized universal human labour time only as the
result of the exchange process."

Or how are we to make sense of the another sentence in the same paragraph:

"The point of departure is not the labour of individuals considered as
social labour, but on the contrary, the particular kinds of labour of
private individuals, i.e, labour which that it is universal social labour
ONLY by the supercession of its original character in the exchange process.
Universal soical labour is consequently not a ready made prerequisite, but
an emerging result."

>The quote does not say the same thing as your summary above.
>It says that when exchanging we equate the labours embodied. Value
>is embodied labour, thus when we are exchanging we are equating
>values. The labour was human labour prior to its product being exchanged.

How could I contest that it was human labor prior to its product being
exchanged? If one defines value as concrete embodied labor, it was also
value before exchange.

>Marx's criticism of Ricardo is that he did not explain why abstract human
>labour had to appear as exchange value rather than directly as amounts
>of labour. I.E., he took the historically limited form of representation of
>value in capitalist society as given.

Well yes indeed! And why can the abstract labor represented by a commodity
only be expressed in money? To refer to the (labor) matter of the commodity
is positively misleading. It is only by reference to the commodity form
that this attribute of 'goods' can be explained. "But Ricardo does not
examine the FORM...Hence he does not grasp the connection of this labour
with money or that it must the assume the form of money." TSVII, p. 164
Ricardo "does not even examine the FORM of value--the particular form which
labour assumes as the substance of value. He only examines the magnitude of
value of commodities." p.172

If Chris A is listening in, I would be interested in his thoughts about
Marx's value form theory deriving from Aristotlean rather than Hegelian

>You do not really reply to this. Quoting somebody else as saying that
>demand in capitalist society stems from accumulation - a disputable
>thesis anyway - does not answer the question as to where in Capital
>is the chapter on demand. Ajit was saying that if Marx thought that demand
>was crucial to the determination of value he would hardly have overlooked
>an explicit examination of it. Those economists who do think that demand
>is crucial to the determination of value attempt to construct a theory of it.
>Marx did not.

Well I just did quote Marx as suggesting that it is through exchange that
commodities do in fact acquire value--he should have been more consistent
here, I believe. Second, I am not saying that demand in the form of
subjective utility theory determines the magnitude of value. Third, from
the very beginning of Capital, Marx does build demand into his value theory
in the precise that if productivity doubles though not quite as twice as
much output is actually sold, value diminishes even though wealth or riches
increase. For example, there is no reason that if twice as many forks can
be produced, people will need four, instead of two, forks at their formal
dinner table per person. If people only come to have three forks, then less
value has indeed been produced. Assuming this all fork economy, there must
not only be sufficient aggregate demand to purchase all the forks but the
actual need for twice as many forks. Otherwise less value will indeed be
produced due to demand conditions. This is a barrier to valorization on the
use value side. As Mage shows in my other post, there are pure value
barriers as well.

Yours, Rakesh

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