[OPE-L:6927] Re: value-form: reply to Chris

From: nicola taylor (n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Sat Apr 06 2002 - 21:51:40 EST

Thanks Chris, point taken.  Having also thought a bit more about Jerry's
previous concern (re the possiblity for misunderstandings about: 'actual'
money versus 'actual' value - a problem that arises also with Geert's
'ideal value' perhaps?) I think I will now reformulate 4. as follows:

4.  Living labour systematically produces 'actual' money (i.e. value in
money form) 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

Also, on your [6915] reply (below) to Geert [6891] and the relation between
the two dynamics.  On the first relation, would you agree with Backhaus's
conclusion that in the first chapter of C1 the dynamics of value considered
as content can 'only be construed as a pseudo-dialectical movement of
pseudo-dialectical contradiction' (1980, p.101) because Marx actually
*fails* to explicate the double character of labour as the *essential*
opposition of capitalist production i.e. he fails to ground that opposition
in the Value-Form (because of the retention of a transhistorical concept of
abstract labour)?  So that the second relation (that between value and its
forms in section 3) appears rather ambiguously as a theory of commodity
money derived from an exchange relation - in the context of non-monetary
barter exchanges! - rather than an exposition into 'fully dialectical'
monetary relations of a Value-Form determination?

all best

>>(2) Second there is that between value considered as a content and the
forms of value listed (on 174) as commodity, money, capital, and including
the transitions of sec. 3. These have entirely different dynamics.
	Firstly, the value form is entirely alien to the product and valorisation
is entirely alien to production. The main problem for us is to theorise
this almost impossible combination. Because it is a combination it is
logically possible to examine each separately, and their relations will be
ones of interaction such that the language of 'cause' is not too far off:
the  value form 'causes' the development of industry, this development in
turn 'causes' changes in socially necessary labour times, which in turn
'causes' the magnitude of value to vary.  It is because of the relative
autonomy of the value form that two things are possible, namely the
self-development of value, regardless of the matter regulated, and the
force which it exerts on production which underpins quantitative changes in
the magnitude of value.
	Secondly, the other relation, that between value and its forms is where
fully dialectical relations such as form and content, essence and
appearance, have their place. It is literally senseless to separate value
from money because value only exists in a money economy. Occasionally Marx
sees this (but I concede he often fails to) e.g.: "[without money] they
definitely do not confront each other as commodities but as products or use
values only." (180). The relation between these sides will be internal.

best Nicky  

At 08:46  6/04/02 +0100, you wrote:
>Hello Nicky
>I agree with most of your 6885, but surely this is too hasty:
>>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.
>LP cannot produce anything since it is a capacity and production is an
>activity. It is labour that produces, although under the direction of
>capital to be sure. Conversely it is LP that takes value form. Labour
>cannot; because it is the
>source/determination/cause/substance/represented/whatever of value. It is
>form-determined of course, because directed by capital, but it is itself in
>origin 'not-value', 'not-capital' as Marx says. (Here I disagree also with
>Geert's 6882 "Labour in capitalist process is also ideal value.")
>The distinction Marx makes betwen LP and L is very important, and correct,
>and should be carefully marked IMO.
>17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England
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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