[OPE-L:5292] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: how is SNLT measured?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 20:33:13 EST

To measure socially necessary labor time we would have to measure or 
would be implicitly measuring socially wasted labor time--that is the 
labor put into an object that is of no social utility.

How would we know the clock time embodied in the taurus has not been 
socially wasted even if manufactured at best practice unless and 
until the taurus has been ex-changed into money and thereby proves 
itself to be (or to have been) an aliquot of socially necessary labor 

It seems to me not true that abstract labor time or socially 
necessary labor time have meaning outside of monetary expression. I 
guess this puts me on the value form side of the debate.


I am going to take a wild stab at something else here.  Howard E 
noted to me in private correspondence that he has been working on 
semiotics, so I'll just throw this out.

In the Saussurean sign we have

object <=> concept <=> word

While with the human use of words all the arrows are present,  there 
is little indication that when say a vervet monkey hears the alarm 
call for python, it actually forms the concept of a snake in its 
brain; it seems to respond without knowing why it does.

There seems to a three fold structure to commodity value

(reproducible) commodity <=> social labor time (some aliquot thereof) 
<=>  price

Marx seems to be saying that since as we respond to price signals we 
have no concept that it is our social labor time that we are 
re-allocating in such a way to allow one class to exort and share 
more or less equally in the surplus labor performed by another class, 
we too are responding to signals in everday market society without 
knowing why we do.

"Value therefore does not have its description branded on its 
forehead; it rather transforms every product of labour into a social 
hieroglyphic. Later on, men try to decipher the hieroglyphic, to get 
behind the secret of their own social product; for the characteristic 
which objects of utility have of being values is as much men's social 
product as is their language." (CapitalI, p. 167)

Yours, Rakesh

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