[OPE-L:5314] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: how is SNLT measured?

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Mon Apr 02 2001 - 05:03:25 EDT

On Mon, 02 Apr 2001, you wrote:
> My point about clock fetishism was only to insist on the diversity of forms
> of measure -- we measure length by a human foot or hand or stride or by a
> platinum bar or wavelengths of krypton in a vacuum.  Time gets measured by
> seasons, phases of the moon, tides, and all sorts of biological processes
> -- the time it takes wine to age, seeds to sprout, crops to mature, etc. --
> as well as the difference in energy level between two states of caesium.

Yes but national standards labs take great care to calibrate these
measures with one another, so that by a simple multiplication one
can be converted ot another. I would contend that no post neolithic 
society has based its calendar on the time it takes crops to mature.
The exigencies of agriculture force them all to adopt an astronomical
one for reliability.
> The broader significance of the point is that there where the material
> basis for the operation of the law of value remains in place, then the law
> of value will continue to operate.  But then bringing the law of value
> under control is not just a matter of computational capacity, although this
> is enormously important, but, more importantly, of really transforming its
> material foundation.  This, I think, is the point underlying what you refer
> to as Charles Bettelheim's skepticism.  Take the first separation of
> productive labor under capitalism to which he refers -- of enterprises from
> each other.  Under the CMP this is resolved by exchange within the
> juridical form of contract, but this dynamic simply reproduces the
> conditions of separation.  

I full agree with that. It is the production of commodities by means of 
commodities that reproduces this separation.

 I had great respect for Bettleheim's work, but it always struck me that
it was just on the edge of telling you how to abolish commodity production
but never going over it.

> Howard
Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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