[OPE-L:5637] Re: Re: Re: Re: Howards [5578] Peculiarities of the equivalent form

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 14:52:52 EDT

I think Ajit is saying that  Hegelian (sic) value theory has no 
answer to Joan Robinson's challenge (dubbed the infinite regression 
critique by Carchedi):

"the constant capital was produced in the past by labour time working 
with then pre-existing constant capital and so on, ad infinitum 
backwards. It therefore cannot be reduced simply to a number of 
labour hours that can be added to the net value of the current year. 
And there is no advantage in doing so." quoted in Carchedi, 1990, p. 


>Under capitalism of course the C entering production is generally 
>the result of 'social' labour. But what exactly do you mean by that? 
>The point is that capitalist production  is indirectly social. Chris 
>fudges the point with his 'yes and no'. Commodities are purchased 
>privately from private producers and used for the accumulation of 
>profit (which is a concept based in private ownership etc). 
>Nevertheless none of this is possible without other private owners 
>to buy from and sell to, ie a society of private activity where the 
>private commodity labour power is used for  the private 
>appropriation of wealth by capitalists.
>The idea that 'the goods that are exchanged is not the product of 
>"private labor" ' seems to me to reduce the notion of 'society' to a 
>most abstract notion, (a sort of 'togetherness' .or we need your 
>stuff so we must be being soocial ) .. whilst ignoring the 
>composition and basis of that society. Are you trying to say that 
>exchange has destroyed the category of private property? On the 
>contrary exchange requires private property!
>Paul Bullock
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ajit Sinha <<mailto:ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in>ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in>
>To: <mailto:ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu 
>Date: 21 May 2001 07:40
>Subject: [OPE-L:5632] Re: Re: Howards [5578] Peculiarities of the 
>equivalent form
>  >
>>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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