[OPE-L:5640] Re: Re: Re: Re: Howards [5578] Peculiarities of the equivalent form

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 10:26:45 EDT

paul bullock wrote:

>  Ajit, 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.
> __________________________
> You see, if you ignore the C part (which in the verbal rendition of
> the private/social dialectics is generally done) then of course there
> will be no transformation problem. It is then easy to work out the
> argument that exchange of commodities, one way or the other,
> represents exchange of social labor. In this context, the problematic
> of the dialectics of private/social, concrete/abstract labor etc.
> remain meaningful, and labor theory of value will slide through. But
> since you have C part in all your commodities, there is no way by
> which the value problematic could escape the transformation problem.
> Reduction of C in tems of labor time is simply illigitimate within a
> capitalist framework because it amounts to measuring profits as simple
> interest rather than cumpond interest, which is the case with profit.
> This is what shows up in the transformation literature as all kinds of
> mathematical difficulties with LTV. What I'm asking the Hegelian
> Marxists is that please don't ignore the C part from the very
> beginning because it is not legitimate. This immideately tells you
> that the first argument about exchange as dialectics of private/social
> labor has a problem because C part of the commodity by no means can be
> interpreted as either "private" or "concrete" . Thus you got a problem
> at the very outset of your story. Now I invite you, Chris, and some
> other good Hegelian Marxists on this list to give an account of the C
> part of the commodity in exchange. My sense is that once you try to do
> that you will find that your argument is unable to move beyond simple
> commodity production to capitalist production or it gets into a
> circular argument of a vecious kind. Cheers, ajit sinha
> _____________________
>   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!
>   regards Paul Bullock  -----Original Message-----
> From: Ajit Sinha <ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in>
> To: 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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