[OPE-L:6885] Re: value-form

From: nicola taylor (n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Thu Apr 04 2002 - 03:03:30 EST

Building on Chris A [6873] Geert R [6882]:

1. 'Value-form' is an abstract universal concept for the 'mode of
association' posited by capitalism.  Value-form is that which enables the
existence of a form of production for exchange based on: 1) the 'dissociation'
of production and consumption, and 2) the 'dissociation' of labour and
means of production.  A market for labour and a wage contract (for example)
are successively more concrete determinations of the Value-Form. 

2. 'Value' is an abstract universal concept for social 'forms' specific to
capitalism.  Commodities are values (in commodity form).  Money is value
(in money form).  Ultimately, capital is value (in the capital forms)
because success (valorisation) in a capitalist (monetary) economy is
measured only by way of a comparison of capital with itself at different
points in time.

3. Value in commodity form is 'ideal money' that has yet to be realised as
actual on commodity markets, a transition that cannot be assumed unless all
short run expectations of firms are met.

4. Labour power systematically produces 'actual' money only when it takes
the wage-form; the wage form is a Value-Form (of labour) necessitated by
the separation of workers from means of production.

5. The subordination of living labour (in production) under the aspect of
time also presupposes the existence of the Value Form (a profit form
dominated by the valorisation imperative).  

6. This domination of form over content - of valorisation imperatives over
technical processes and of time over living labour - demands the
representation of value and socially necessary (abstract) labour in money.

7. The logical order is exactly the reverse of the Ricardian one in which
labour time constitutes an immanent measure of value, constituted in
production and autonomous of its 'phenomenal' monetary expression.  On the
contrary, the duration and productivity of labour acquire practical reality
only because labour-power has taken on a Value-Form, wages, and is
purchased by capitalists on the market as an input to production with the
sole purpose of realising (after production) a higher money (capital value)
than that initially advanced.  

8. Conclusion 1: Capital and Money must be theorised in terms of capital's
relationship with Labour.  The capital-labour relation is necessitated by
the logic of a Value-Form; i.e. by subordination of living labour to its
quantitative aspects: labour time (in production) and wages (the market
exchange of labour power for money).  

9. Conclusion 2: Since labour is constituted as abstract in the
capital-labour relation (a relation of production and exchange), the
concept of 'exploitation' properly refers to the whole of the working day.

Nicola Taylor
Faculty of Economics
Murdoch University
South Street
W.A. 6150

Tel. 61 8 9385 1130 
email: n.taylor@stu.murdoch.edu.au

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