[OPE-L:5632] Re: Re: Howards [5578] Peculiarities of the equivalent form

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 02:30:31 EDT

Christopher Arthur wrote:

> d) First let us go back and ask why there is a problem. It is that
> capitalism is manifestly a form of social production yet production is
> carried on in separate autonomous enterprises. The solution is  universal
> exchange. Does this make production immediately social? Yes and No.
> Certainly it allows goods to be distributed but only via a form of
> *abstract* sociality in which labours are not immediately social but become
> socially recognised only under the form of abstract labour, and that
> indirently under the shape of the value prodduced. So just as with the
> other peculiarities there is the problem of how this abstract sociality is
> to be represented, and it is in the private labour that produced the
> equivalent: 'immediate exchangeability' is itself a most peculiar social
> form quite different from the concrete specific connections between
> production and consumption is a peasant household.


Chris, the most fundamental problem, which no Hegelian interpretation of value
problematic recognizes, is that the goods that are exchanged is not the product
of "private labor". It could be so only if labor could produce without any aid
of the means of production or raw materials, such as picking up silver on a
beach. But the production that Marx is dealing with is a production assisted by
means of production--Marx was one author who repeatedly insisted that there is
always a commodity residual left no matter how far you go back in reducing means
of production to labor time, a point that Smith and Ricardo had a habit of
forgetting in their explanation. The problem is simple: how do you deal with the
means of production part of the commodity in its exchange? Cheers, ajit sinha

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