[OPE-L:5237] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: use-value as qualitative

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 08:43:39 EST

I've been teaching political economy for a decade now and a question i
have consitently asked in my exams was: Use the concepts of value of
labor power and use value of labor power in order to derive surplus
value. Interestingly enough and against my explicit emphasis the
students insisted in just subtracting the value of labor power from the
use value of labor power. I went out of my way to explain to them that
we had first to convert the use value of labor power into a quantitative
dimension before we could subtract the value of labor power. I repeated
over and over again that we could not subtract value from use value the
same way we cannot subtract the value of a pen from its use value as a
means to write. The conversion of the use value of labor power into a
quantitative dimension is its actual use for a specific period of time.
Outside its actual use we cannot obtain its quantitative dimension.
That's also the reason why capitalists are so zealous in making sure
this quantitative dimension is put to good use. Was I giving lower
grades than due for this past decade?
Paulo Cipolla

Steve Keen wrote:

>  Hi Jerry,
> I use the old Progress Press edition.
> This quote is the point at which Marx first reveals the source of
> surplus-value in Capital I.
> Cheers,
> Steve
> At 09:38 AM 3/20/01 -0500, you wrote:
>> It is unclear to me in what edition of Volume 1 of
>> *Capital* on 'p. 188' Steve K cited below in [5189].
>> However, for reference, it is from Ch. 7, Section 2
>> in a paragraph that begins "Let us examine the
>> matter more closely."  In the Kerr edition, this
>> paragraph is on pp. 215-216. In the International
>> (1939) edition, see pp. 174-175. In the Penguin ed.,
>> see pp. 300-301. An interesting difference in
>> translation concerns "the value which that labor-
>> power creates in the labor process" (Kerr) vs.
>> "the value that labour-power valorizes [*verwertet*]
>> in the labour-process" (Penguin). Note that in all
>> cases the VLP and the "value that ...." concern
>> value as such, not uv.
>> In solidarity, Jerry
>>      The past labor that is embodied in the labor power, and the
>>      living labor that it can call into action; 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. Therefore, the value of labor
>>      power, and the value which that labor power creates in the
>>      labor
>>      process, are two entirely different magnitudes; and this
>>      difference of the two values was what the capitalist had in
>>      view, when he was purchasing the labor power... What really
>>      influenced him was the specific use-value which this commodity
>>      possesses of being a source not only of value, but of more
>>      value
>>      than it has itself. This is the special service that the
>>      capitalist expects from labor power, and in this transaction he
>>      acts in accordance with the 'eternal laws' of the exchange of
>>      commodities. *The seller of labor power, like the seller of any
>>      other commodity, realizes its exchange-value, and parts with
>>      its
>>      use-value.* (capital I, p. 188.)
> Dr. Steve Keen
> Senior Lecturer
> Economics & Finance
> Campbelltown, Building 11 Room 30,
> School of Economics and Finance
> Australia
> s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
> Home 02 9558-8018 Mobile 0409 716 088
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