[OPE-L:4435] Re: what is Volume 1 about?

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 21:48:20 EST

On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Fred B. Moseley wrote:

> Medio's presentation is perhaps the clearest expression of this
> interpretation that "Volume 1 is about labor-values only".  He explicitly
> calls his system of equations (2) the "value system".  The variables
> determined in his "value system" are the labor-values of individual
> commodities and the rate of surplus-value (as a ratio of
> labor-values).  Money and prices do not appear in the "value
> system" equations at all.
> Paul Z., Paul C., Allin, and other proponents of the "two system"
> interpretation:  is Medio's interpretation more or less what you
> have in mind by "Volume 1 is about labor-values only"?

This is a bit of a "when did you stop beating your wife?" sort
of question.  I agree with Medio insofar as I think you can
derive commodity values and the rate of surplus value from
direct labour coefficients and input-output coefficients, and
that (in principle) prices play no part in this sort of

But I don't think vol. 1 is "about labour values only": that
would be an odd claim when Marx spends quite a lot of time
talking about money.  I do think, however, that he assumes
prices = values throughout vol. 1 (other than in a few contexts
where he explicitly states otherwise) so that his use of pounds,
shillings as so on can be taken a shorthand for quanta of labour


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