[OPE-L:4842] Re: Re: value: primary, secondary; latent, possessed?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 14:24:46 EST

re 4829

>A question for Rakesh:
>>  In short, the transformation of quantities of various
>>  forms of concrete labor into homogeneous, abstract
>>  labor or value  occurs precisely through (and not
>>  before) market exchange. <snip, JL>
>>  <..., JL>, I am not here saying that the magnitude of
>>  value is  determined by exchange; I am arguing that a
>>  commodity only possesses  (or is a) value (one side of a > binary state)
>if it's successfully  monetarily exchanged.
>Is this the same perspective as in value-form theory (VFT), e.g. as in
>Reuten (Hi Geert!)/ Williams (Hi Michael!)? Or are you saying something
>In solidarity, Jerry

  I am directly drawing from Paul Mattick Jr's analysis of the 
price-value problem and Michel deVroey's comments on the necessity of 
money in *The Value Controversy", ed. Ian Steedman, pp.184-185 (I had 
earlier pointed to this latter discussion of Marx's diachronic logic 
after Ajit had suggested that Marx's logic was synchronic in an 
apparently Levi-Straussian manner).

I might be saying something similar to Geert in his piece for the 
*Revista di Politica Economica* on  "the source vs. the measure 
obstacle in value theory"; for me the measure (or "collapse") is 
indeed the source (activator) of  (otherwise latent) value, and Geert 
suggests the same, p.105ff, though he gives other meanings to 
"measure" and "source" in  this piece.

I am not clear as to precisely why Geert (and Marx himself) argues 
there is no other sensible way to express or measure a definite 
quantum of average social labor "other than in terms of value or 
money." p.110.  This is sometimes expressed as "the necessity of 
money" thesis (which for Marx is something other than money as the 
institution by which the double coincidence of wants is overcome). 
But it seems to me a lot of work remains to be done in the 
specification and support of Marx's thesis.

Here's a question:

Does the necessity of  money somehow derive from it alone allowing 
all commodities to be measured in terms of a ratio scale (rather than 
a nominal, ordinal or interval scale)? Is there some reason (thinking 
here of Marx's famous letter to Feuerbach) why in a private exchange 
economy commodities have to be measured in terms of a common 
(hypostatized?) divisible property so that we can infer numerical 
proportions among the representations of  commodities that, say, one 
magnitude is twice or three or x times another?

Does money alone allow for commodities to be measured in terms of a 
ratio scale; must commodities be measured in terms of such a scale if 
the proportioning of social labor is to be achieved in a private 
exchange economy?

Yours, Rakesh

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