[OPE-L:5866] Re: Re: Re: Reply to fred - A & B

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Mon Jun 18 2001 - 18:09:39 EDT

Sorry pressure of work forces ultra brief reply:
>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;
>	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?
I follow Rubin's chapter on content and form which concludes
"When we consider value in terms of content and form we relate value with
the concept which precedes it abstract labour, the content. On the other
hand, through the form of value we have already connected value with the
concept which follows it, exchange value." So there are three concepts. I
entirely agree that all three are necessary to fully specify value. If you
look at the mediating stage which is both the form taken by labour and yet
must have its own form then it is clearly quantitative and since it
inherently is capable of misprepresenting labour its unit is rather given
in its form viz money.
I stress again that the twoplace scheme of 1859 is absolutely inadequate.
And I want to come back to Chai-on Lee's valuable post to explore this

>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.
Yes I agree - but I am not sure it is so important unless the qualitative
side is clear, and in particular the role played by the value form in
deterining what counts as socially necessary etc.

>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
>(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
>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.
>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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