[OPE-L:6968] Re: Re: value-form

From: nicola taylor (n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Fri Apr 12 2002 - 01:10:15 EDT

Thanks Chris.  These past days you have been the 'source' of much light...
now let's hope that on my side there will be some growing.
comradely Nicky 

>>Response to Nicky [OPE-L:6963]
>>On 'dimension' and 'magnitude'
>>Okay, I see now what you are getting at.  I don't think there is any
>>disagreement between us on the meanings of 'dimension' and 'magnitude';
>>rather, you are saying that in discussing magnitude I have not been
>>sufficiently carefully in differentiating between: 1) labour and
>>labour-power, and 2) between the source and the measure of value.  Right?
>Right but one must always be very careful to mark these distinctions.
>Unfortunately below they are not.
>>>Of course it is not labour per se that is determinant; valorisation
>>>form-determines production of value so that the dimension of abstract
>>>labour is formed and its metric is time. Magnitudes of value are
>>>proportional to SNLT at a V1 level. I would accept the proposition 'The
>>>value dimension is a necessary presupposition of the abstract labour
>>I agree that in V1 'magnitudes of value are proportional to SNLT', which
>>implies that abstract labour can be measured in time units, at least in
>>principle.  Nevertheless, the argument for money as the sole measure of
>>value (in R&W) seems to me quite independent of whether an 'immanent
>>measure' of abstract labour (in time units) can be arrived at
>Yes - I have no problem with that
> >What they question is the relevance of such a measure,
>>given that SNLT can be verified as socially necessary *only* by virtue of
>>the fact that it has assumed a monetary (social) form, a transformation
>>that mucks up the gravitational field .
>The problem is what can be deduced from this 'only'; that SNLT is
>verifiable 'only' in money does not mean it has no metric of its own.
> >But you
>>seem to object to this with the argument that labour cannot be determined
>>as valuable (or the source of value) through a monetary comparison of
>>inputs and outputs, alone.
>oops. Labour is NOT valuable,this is JUST BECAUSE it is the source of value
>(otherwise the explanation of value becomes circular/regressive). I would
>not myself say 'source' but something formally similar in this context. One
>reason I do not like source is that it can suggest some preexisting 'pool'
>of value which would be objectionable. 'Source', however, has another sense
>as in 'light is the source of vegetable growth'. The magnitudes of light
>and of growth may correlate but are different dimensions.
>But that the LTV cannot be established on the basis of a comparison of
>monetary outputs and inputs alone is something I do hold. R&W present this
>argument and I entirely reject it as a 'circulationist' misunderstanding of
>what is going on, and which, incidentally, conflates labour and labour
>power as well.
>One problem in R&W flows from the strength of the argument about
>precommensuration which attempts to bridge circulation and production,
>something that needs doing, but it leads to the danger of reading back into
>production the categories of circulation, so they write 'labour is ideal
>value'; since I deny labour is value it isn't going to convince me to put
>'ideal' in front of it; I would put what is meant, by the formula 'labour
>in the production process ideally posits value'. Probably Geert would
>accept this amendment.
>> What is required is a concept of value form, and
>>a theory of how it is determining of the classical 'formulas'.  I agree
>>with you, and I feel confident that R&W agree also.
>I do not think so. I outlined my objections to R&W at great length orally
>to Geert, and although he listened carefully I do not recall him saying
> > The question is: *how*
>>does an immanent time measure of SNLT help in this endeavour?  How do you
>>show that labour time is valuable, if in fact money is the only social
>>measure of how valuable (or socially necessary) labour time is?
>oops again: labour time is NOT valuable, only the product is valuable, and
>then only because exchange says so. Once again I reiterate that I agree
>with Marx that the L/LP distinction is crucial if we are going to get  out
>a coherent theory that is centred on production. The problem is we start
>with a value form which ignores production so what is needed is a series of
>steps that 'zero in' so to speak on production as the appropriate
>'content'. But of course the form is real enough that all sorts of capitals
>claim a share in the surplus product no matter how parasitic they are. At
>this point I would like to refer you to a paper explianing my LTV but there
>is not one!  All I can refer you to is the last part of mY CApital and
>CLass article. If I had a paper it would go: capital, time, circulation?
>no; Production time? No. Labour time Yes. Capital can constitute itself
>only through negating labour. Value is reifed labour. It and Surplus value
>have magnitudes derived from Total social capital v. total labour, which
>means the labour time measure reflects itself in the value measures.
>Unfortunately I do not have a paper on transformation at all! But With many
>capitals issues irrelevant to the class struggle come in, which are of
>great interest to the form of capital such as organic composition, so
>capitals start measuring their output and surplus product differently. This
>obscures but does not cancel their fundamental constitution in class
>struggle. If  i wrote a paper on the technicalities it would probably come
>out similar to that in Riccardo Bellofiore's work.
>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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