[OPE-L:5208] Re: Re: Re: Re: use-value as qualitative?

From: Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 09:42:04 EST


"... the daily cost of maintaining it, and its daily expenditure in work, 
are two totally different things. The former determines the exchange-value 
of the labor power, the latter is its use-value. The fact that half a 
[working] day's labor is necessary to keep the laborer alive during 24 
hours, does not in any way prevent him from working a whole day..."

I believe I am entitled to construct, using ordinary rules of sentence 

*           "[T]he exchange-value of the labor-power [is] half a [working] 
day's labor";
*           "its use-value [is] a whole [working] day"

Both these entities are measured in units of socially necessary abstract 
labor-time. Let's use Marx's usual 6/12 example:

*           the exchange-value of labor power is 6 hours labor
*           the use-value of labor-power is 12 hours labor
*           the gap between the two is surplus value.

Now if you're not willing to accept that these "two entirely different 
magnitudes" are both quantitative entities measured in units of socially 
necessary labor-time, then yes, you're correct, there is simply no point in 
continuing a substantive discussion.

At 09:06 AM 3/19/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Re Steve K's [5206]:
> > (snip, JL) Marx was using use-value in a distinctly
> > quantitative way when deriving the
> > source of surplus value from the difference
> > between the exchange-value and
> > the use-value of labor-power.
>Marx derived surplus value based on the difference
>between what workers were paid in wages (=
>to, on average, the value of labor-power) and
>the value created by those workers. This does
>not require that use-value is quantitative. All it
>requires is that there is surplus labor time, and
>thereby unpaid labor time, and that surplus labor time comes to take the
>value-form. (NB: it ALSO
>requires that the product is sold and thereby
>has its use-value and value validated so that,
>in the circuit M-C-M',  C can be converted into
>Use-value, not as quantity but as quality, is
>presumed. If the product which was presumed
>to have use-value when setting a money price
>prior to sale is shown ex post not to have
>use-value that it can not then also have value
>and exchange-value. I.e. *without this quality
>there can be no quantity*. Thus, uv is necessarily
>*linked* to quantity even though it is not itself
>But, I don't think this discussion (at least in terms
>of the 2 of us) is advancing. I.e. we seem to be
>repeating the same things.  This seems to be based
>on different understandings of the nature of
>the commodity (which, I believe, is based on
>differing methodologies).
>In solidarity, Jerry

Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
Campbelltown, Building 11 Room 30,
School of Economics and Finance
s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
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