[OPE-L:5197] Re: Re: Re: use-value as qualitative

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 17:14:43 EST

Re Steve K's [5193]:

Steve wrote:

I'm rather lucky that my PC crashed before I could reply to this, because it gave me the chance to take a few deep breaths. I am accustomed to asking others on this list to "read my lips", but not you. I choose my words fairly carefully in my posts, and I would appreciate if you would read them carefully.
I did NOT say that "qualitative issues lie outside of Marx's analysis". I said that "qualitative issues form no part of his CORE analysis" (even that statement I qualified. And of course, my statement was in contrast to the neoclassicals--which further qualifies it).
I'm sorry if I misunderstood the points you were 
making and didn't read your post as carefully as I should have. BUT, even as you explain your 
position above, I disagree with it. I think, rather, 
that qualitative issues DO form a part of his CORE
analysis. His CORE analysis is of value and that 
concerns BOTH quality and quantity.  
Steve continued:

But perhaps I didn't choose my words carefully enough. By "core", I meant something like "foundation concepts from which he derived his pivotal initial arguments on the source of value and determination of prices". I hope that's clearer.
It's clearer -- but again I disagree. He derived
his pivotal early arguments based on an analysis
of the commodity.   That was his starting point --
not use-value nor exchange-value. It was only in
the unfolding of the character of the commodity
that the categories of use-value,  value, and
exchange-value were introduced. 
Steve continues:

So I agree with everything you posted about the role of quality, but it makes no difference to my argument, or to the difference between us over this initial issue: whether use-value can be quantitative in Marx's CORE (as defined above) analysis, and whether I had or had not found at least prima facie textual evidence to support that--for example, the statement that "use-value and exchange-value are intrinsically incommensurable MAGNITUDES".
I don't think it's "prima facie" evidence, but I 
agree that it is a quote worthy of discussion.

You might want to ask yourself how categories
which are "intrinsically incommensurable" can
both be expressed quantitatively as magnitudes.
It is only to the extent that the quality (use-value)
can be expressed through the commodity-form
and commodities have value and that value comes 
to be necessarily expressed through the value-form
that magnitude has meaning for the commodity's

(You might also want to see how the subject of
magnitude unfolds and is a component part of the
Hegelian logical system.)
Steve continues:

Now, from the next segment of your reply, it appears that you don't regard this or any other textual excerpt I found as conclusive or even suggestive of this interpretation. 
I just wanted to concentrate on what appeared to
me to be the CORE differences in interpretation.
It seemed a more fruitful way to discuss the topic
rather than offering alternative explanations and 
readings of so many of the quotes cited. In some
cases, especially in the early part of your post
when you quoted Marx about the importance of 
use-value, I didn't comment because I agreed with
those quotes. Therefore, there was nothing to
discuss (especially since I made my perspectives
on that issue known to you close to 6 years ago
and on repeated occasions since).

In any event, I've been the one who has been
willing to talk to you about this -- that's more
than others on this list have been willing to do lately.
Steve closes:

If so, I can't convince you, so as with so much else on this discussion list, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
That's up to you.  Hopefully, others will join in and 
we can have more than a 2 person exchange. But,
listmembers discuss what they want to discuss and
over time I have come to  realize that they don't
always want to discuss the topics I want to discuss. 
Eventually, you may come to the same conclusion 
-- but I hope not.

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: Sorry about your computer. I hope there was
no damage done to the machine ... after all, that
would represent a premature loss of use-value.
How can I tell that use-value has declined, you 
ask? I can tell because your computer takes
the value-form and would have either a resale 
value, expressed in money, or no resale value
at all (except, perhaps, as scrap).

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