[OPE-L:7617] Re: Chris A on VFT - reply to Nicky

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Fri Sep 06 2002 - 11:36:23 EDT

Re 7582>  What I disagree with is the interpretation
>where value (as substance) is accumulated.  What is accumulated is not
>value (a substance) but money (the thing representing value).  To say
>that value is accumulated takes a risk of conflating value and money:
>and this conflation is exactly what Riccardo complains of in value form
>theories. For me, then, money is necessary precisely because value
>CANNOT be accumulated.  Value, rather, is posited: as unitary universal
>opposition to heterogeneous use value, necessary to the exchange
>relation, in turn necessary to the existence of dissociated activity.
>Money allows value to express its 'reality' in so far as the whole of
>capitalism as a value form must be organised around money; that is the
>relation of form to content for me.
There is the issue of money and the issue of kapital
a) Money plays a key role in positing the value form; but it is not the
only value content (or representation of value if you prefer), becuase
commodities are interpellated as values, and capital is a complex movement
between the two.
b) What is actually  accumulated is kapital. K always exists in three
shapes, moneyK, ProductionK and CommodityK. While money is where K grasps
its identity with itelf and measures itself against itself, it is
accumulated as this tripartite complex where unity exists precisiely in
value. So it is value that accumulates not money.
Your objection is a little obscure to me but it could be that if value is a
dimension like space it cannot be accuumulated, only a thing with value or
which represents all value. SO I shift to your OPEL 5583
  &value as a form is the necessary dimension of labour and of the useful
objects produced by it in the bourgeois mode of production.  It is a social
dimension and social universal, not an a priori (in Kant s sense)
natural-physical dimension and universal (space and continuity), though
value is a category as abstract as space and continuity.  (In actual social
intercourse its social meaning is further constituted.  In as much as the
space of an object is further constituted by the measure of length (for
which eg meters and yards are standards), the value of an object is further
constituted by money (for which eg a dollar or a pound stirling are
standards).  Both length and money are constituted in social intercourse
and as such they are social facts. 

For Chris, value is not a dimension and length is not constituted in social
intercourse as a social fact   length is a fact before any such
constitution. "

On the contrary I do think that at the most abstract level value is a
dimension similar to space. But NB not 'of labour and of the useful
objects' but of commodities in their value aspect. The dimension of labour
is time; this is re-presented in value as time-past. Marx himself used the
analogy of space in Gr. p. 321
"expressed passively the magnitude of labour appears as an amount of space;
but expressed in motion it is measurable only in time." I agree with this
Einstein-like time/space interchange.
The value dimension needs a metric - this is money.
The relation between 'values' and the value-space is interesting. I think
we should take Leibniz' relativistic view here - there is no 'empty box' as
in Newton. Given the need then for 'masses' to constitute 'space' as their
relation we must move to value as substance, and since there is no God, to
value as subject (namely capital).



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