[OPE-L:6941] Re: Re: value-form: reply to nicky

From: nicola taylor (n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Mon Apr 08 2002 - 12:20:57 EDT

Great!  I agree with both 1. and 2. and look forward to 3.  Will try to get
to your other post soon...

At 03:36  8/04/02 +0100, you wrote:
>NO. I disagree completely.
>1. 'Physiology' notwithstanding, IMO Marx understands very well that
>abstract labour is not transhistorical.
>2. Marx quite definitely does not derive mooney from barter. (Below another
>extract from work-in-progress.)
>3. I am currently writing the section defending commodity money at this
>level of abstraction.
>"There can be no doubt that the topics of Marx's first two chapters, and
>their order, were very deliberately chosen by Marx: first 'the commodity';
>and only then 'exchange'. In this light it is quite extraordinary how many
>accounts of the forms of value offend against this separation by discussion
>of  the motives of exchangers at the more abstract level. (Uno, Sekine,
>Cartelier) Marx quite consciously postponed such considerations until after
>he had already analysed the nature of what it was they exchanged, analysing
>the commodity as a unity of use value and value. It would be completely out
>of order to discuss the need of an exchanger for a certain use value in the
>context of the dialectic of the forms of value of section 3, for example.
>Confusion may have been occasioned by the term 'use value'; if this is
>taken as 'what is wanted', as it is in Chapter 2, then the motives of
>exchangers may be implicated. But in the context of chapter one 'use value'
>refers merely to the 'natural body' of the commodity. It is in virtue of
>this that it is of interest for 'use', but that relation is abstracted from
>so as to concentrate on the objectivity of commodity relations in chapter
>A very important point about the nature of money is involved here also. To
>put the point negatively, there is no trace of any discussion of barter in
>chapter one. Marx does not derive money as a device to overcome the
>limitations of barter. Positively, we shall see, he derives money as the
>form necessary to constitute value objectively (and therewith, incidentally
>the meaningfulness of 'abstract labour'). As Marx notes, the abstraction he
>employs in discussing the simple form is 'x of commodity A = y of commodity
>B' which is not that of 'direct exchange of products' which has the form 'x
>use-value A = y use-value B'. (p. 181)"
> [6927]
>>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
>>	Firstly, the value form is entirely alien to the product and
>>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.
>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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