[OPE-L:4616] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Part of My Confusion ontheTransformation

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Tue Dec 05 2000 - 22:49:44 EST

On Tue, 5 Dec 2000, Rakesh Narpat Bhandari wrote:

> Marx is not allowing the value of money to change  before the
> transformation; and he doesn't allow it to change in the
> transformation.
> Marx does not think that there is actually an invariable standard
> of value. This is why he has to invent the constant reference point,
> fully aware that it is a purely fictitious assumption.

Rakesh, you haven't taken on board Ajit's point.  There are
theroretical situations where it's OK to make the "fictitious
assumption" that the value of money is constant, and other
situations where this assumption just doesn't make sense (at any
rate, without recognizing and spelling out the further
commitments this assumption entails).

Thus at the level of Vol. 1, when Marx is talking about the
prices of commodities changing due to changes in technical
conditions (with prices = values), it's perfectly OK to assume
that the value of money isn't changing at the same time (this is
just saying that there's no technical change in gold production,
that the labour time required to produce an ounce of gold
remains constant).

When you're talking about the transformation, however, a
constant "value of money" in the above sense is insufficient to
ensure that the aggregate price of commodities remains constant.
You need money to be invariant in a stronger sense: namely, that
it's immune to the transformation.  This can't just be "assumed"
without cost: it would require that the money commodity is
produced under conditions of average organic composition (or
something of the sort), thus confining any results obtained to a
special case.

Allin Cottrell.

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