[OPE-L:5075] Re: one commodity models and illustrations

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Mon Feb 26 2001 - 08:09:56 EST

Re [OPE-L:5052]:

> "I, for one, can see no meaning for a concept of
>  price in a  one commodity world. I find it
> incomprehensible."
> (What if, in this same world, money is not a commodity?)

In the context of an interpretation of Marx, even where is no money
commodity (pace Akira and Claus), a one commodity world is indeed

If one is indeed talking about a "one commodity" world
then one can not also hold that labour power is a commodity since that would
mean that there are now
two commodities rather than 1. And,  I think the
evidence is pretty clear that Marx believed that labour power becomes a
commodity (even if it is a very special and unique commodity). Of course,
one can challenge this idea that labour power is a commodity (as Mike W and
others have done), but if we are still talking about interpretations of
Marx, rather than Marxist perspectives,  it must be recognized that his
theory held that labour power is a commodity.

Moreover, even in the context of a corn model, if that model claims to
represent Marx's perspective,  a "corn wage" can not be taken as a
substitute for labour power itself.  This is because labour power *itself*
(understood here as the capacity, physical and mental, to perform labor)
exists as a commodity.  In other words, one can not conflate labour-power
itself with the exchange-value of labour-power.

In conclusion, combining the above with the explanation in [5050], a "one
commodity world" is incomprehensible in the context of a discussion about
Marx's perspectives: "immense accumulation of commodities" can not be
reduced to a single "commodity" world without misrepresenting the theory.

In solidarity, Jerry

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