Chris, thanks very much for your replies (5861 and 5862). I think I understand your interpretation of Chapter 1 somewhat better now. A couple of responses: 1. I do not understand what you mean by "value" in your "three levels": "substance/labor; VALUE; form of VALUE/exchange value" (emphasis added). As I understand Marx's theory, value has three aspects: the substance of value (objectified abstract labor), the magnitude of value (socially necessary labor-time) and the form of value (money or price or exchange-value). Value is not any one of these three aspects; rather, value is all three aspects together. Value is not a separate "level", in contrast to the other levels of substance and form; rather, value is all three levels at once. Substance and form (your first and third levels) are the substance and form OF VALUE, not a distinct level different from value, as your own formulation of the third level ("form of value") suggests. What is the relation between "value" at the second level and "value" at the third level? I think that my interpretation is supported by Marx's basic logic in Chapter 1 and how Marx himself described this logic. As I have argued in recent posts, Section 1 derives the substance of value (objectified abstract labor) and the mangitude of value (socially necessary labor-time) (the title of Section 1 is " ... Value [Substance of Value, Magnitude of Value"]). Section 3 ("The Value-Form, or Exchange-Value") derives the form of value (money) from the substance and the magnitude of value. (My understanding of Marx's logic in Chapter 1 draws heavily from Banaji (1979, "From the Commodity to Capital: Hegel's Dialectic in Marx's Capital", in Elson (ed.), *Value*). I know of no separate concept of "value" in Chapter 1, which is neither the substance of value nor the form of value. Chris, would you please explain further what do mean by this "value" that is supposed to be a separate level from the substance of value and the form of value? How is this "value" defined? In terms of what unit of measure? You suggest that this is a "QUALITATIVE point about the concepts involved." But value is also a QUANTITY, right? Value is supposed to explain exchange-value, which is also a quantity. What is the unit of measure, in terms of which the quantity of "value" is defined? Is the unit of measure abstract labor or money or something else? 2, I am glad that you say that your interpretation "is consistent with your [my] equation". I assume you mean the equation Y = mL. As I have emphasized, if this equation is to determine Y (Y is money value added, or the form of appearance of value), then L (the substance of value) must determined independently of Y. Chris, do you agree that L is determined independently of Y? Your analogy to mass and weight would seem to suggest so (mass is determined independently of weight). If so, then I think this is a very important point of agreement. But I still do not understand what you mean by "value" that is analogous to gravity and that somehow "transforms concrete labor into abstract labor". Abstract labor is a quantity, so this transformation must also have a quantitative dimension, right? Could you please explain how this transformation of concrete labor into abstract labor by means of "value" occurs quantitatively? Do you think this transformation is essentially the same or is it different from Marx's quantitative determination of abstract labor in Chapter 1? Furthermore, your analogy of gravity to "value" does not work. You say "value" is the form that "transforms concrete labor into abstract labor". This says nothing about price (or money value added) in the equation: (1) Y = m L The transformation that "value" is supposed to bring about (from concrete labor to abstract labor) has to do solely with L on the RHS of this equation. To the contrary, one could say that gravity is the force that transforms mass into weight, according to the equation: (2) W = g M where M is mass, g is the force of gravity, and W is weight. The similar functional forms between equations (1) and (2) is quite remarkable! It suggests that gravity in equation (2) is analogous to m in equation (1) (money value added per hour of abstract labor), which converts hours of abstract labor into money value added; gravity is not analgous to "value" which converts concrete labor into abstract labor. Thanks again for the productive discussion. Comradely, Fred P.S. I would like return to the passage we have been discussing from Section 4 of Chapter 1, after we clarify these more fundamental points.
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