[OPE-L:5867] Re: Re: Re: Re: Reply to fred - A & B

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Mon Jun 25 2001 - 01:05:53 EDT

On Mon, 18 Jun 2001, Christopher Arthur wrote:

> Fred
> Sorry pressure of work forces ultra brief reply:

Chris, brief replies to your brief reply below.  

> >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?
> >
> 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. 

But which three concepts are you talking about?  

You suggested the three "levels" of:
	1.  substance/labor
	2.  value
	3.  form of value/exchange value

I, on the other hand, suggested the following three aspects of the value
of commodities:
	1.  substance of value
	2.  magnitude of value
	3.  form of value
I don't think these two interpretations are the same, and I don't see how
the quote from Rubin clarifies the issue.  So I don't see how you
"entirely agree" [with me?] "that all three are necessary to fully specify

In particular, I still do not understand what you mean by the second level
of "value" and how this "value" is similar to or different from the "form
of value" at the third level?

> 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.

As I just said, I still do not understand what you mean by the "mediating
stage" [of "value", I presume].  You say that this "value" is defined in
units of money.  Then, again, how is the second level of "value" different
from the third level of the "form of value", which is also defined in
units of money?  And also how is the quantity of "value" in units of money
DETERMINED?  By the quantity of abstract labor?  If so, then how can
"value" determine what counts as abstract labor, as you seem to
suggest?  Isn't this circular reasoning ("value" determines abstract labor
and abstract labor determines "value")?

Thanks again.


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