[OPE-L:8088] RE: RE: Re: (Change the world!) magnitude and givens in philosophy and political economy

From: Nicola Taylor (19518173@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Mon Dec 02 2002 - 18:26:13 EST

Hi Paulo, thanks for the interesting question, and sorry in advance for
the very short and inadequate answer.

> you argue that value has only meaning when compared with itself
> time. Are you referring to the circuit of capital, that is, the
> valorization
> process that occurs therein? 

Yes, value as process, etc...

> In that case, what do you mean by "meaning"?

Two things: i) that an amount of labour time 'fixed' in a commodity at a
particular point in time (say in the C emerging at the end of a
production process) is not value, and ii) that 'money' in the capital
circuit has the essential character of being constantly thrown into
circulation; hence money withdrawn from circulation (a purchase of gold
for eg) has the character of an asset purchase rather than the character
of real money.
> How would we separate inflation from true valorization if we take the
> points of the circuits as the only meaning for the concept of value?

Once you have expansion of money as the motive for production, the M at
the start of the circuit can be considered as credit money (money
advanced to a production process with the expectation of a greater sum
of money emerging at the end of it).  The influx, ex-nihilo creation of
money, then amounts to bank pre-validation of future production, the
expectation being that loans create deposits rather than the reverse.
If social validation of commodities (of value created) occurs at the end
of the circuit, reflux of credit money to the bank (with a share of the
profit, i.e. interest), cancelling the initial advance.  Inflation
arises here if monetary expansion fails to produce any increase in
effective demand (bank losses must then be socialised and the
expansionary impulse provided by ex nihilo creation of credit money
turns out to be fictitious; just as the expansion in the circuit of
capital turns out to be fictitious).  

Ps. If I remember rightly, Geert Reuten wrote a couple of papers on
inflation (one for capital and class ages ago, and I think one more
recent).  Probably something also in VF&S.

> Nicola Taylor wrote:
> > > Yet, the perspective that beings can only be comprehended in
> > > terms of magnitude is one-sided and hence false.  There are many
> > > *essential* aspects of social relations that *can not* be
expressed as
> > > magnitude.   In fact,  I would assert that a systematic
> > > of  *CLASSES* and  *THE STATE* can not be developed merely
> > > through an examination of magnitude.  Indeed,  *ONE CAN NOT
> > > THE WORLD IN TERMS OF MAGNITUDE*.   Hence,  a rejection
> > > of Descartes  Rule 14.4  is a REVOLUTIONARY IMPERATIVE.
> >
> > WONDERFUL!  I agree with Jerry that if we want to answer the
> > 'why Marx' we should not be looking to calculations of magnitude to
> > answer it.
> >
> > In any case, as chris A has already pointed out somewhere, labour is
> > the content of value since labour in general produces only
> > It is *capital that produces value* (with an eye to monetary profit)
> > of living labour.  So value, strictly speaking, has meaning only as
> > comparison with itself in different points of time, this comparison
> > possible only because value is measured in money, and all that
> > (to the production of surplus value) is that the wage-bill (an
> > purchase to the capitalist class) does not exhaust value added.
> > Magnitude is not therefore terribly interesting.  The far more
> > interesting question is how a value form, namely capital, comes to
> > determine the dimensions of production (including time) in the first
> > place.  This requires an inquiry into how alienated living labour
> > expended in production comes to count as abstract labour and a
source of
> > value greater than that advanced at the start of a capital circuit
> > the confusion between 'source' and 'content' of value see Geert R,
> > in Rivista di Politica Economica).
> >
> > In answering this last question, much comes to depend on the
> > of arguments.  As you recently pointed out, Mike, what is needed up
> > front is a theory of forms of commodity exchange; to this I would
> > 'value forms of exchange', since ultimately capital is the value
form of
> > exchange that we are dealing with, and as a means of association (or
> > condition of existence of dissociated labour) it determines all....
> > pressed for time, so will jump the gun a bit and say that only when
> > concept of value form is further developed, up to the simple
> > valorisation form, M-C-M', is it possible to sensibly introduce the
> > question of magnitude, and along with that an analysis of the
> > labour relation in exchange and production.  In proposing this, I
> > to stress that I am not advancing a theory of form without content,
> > a simple methodological point: in the sequence of argument, form
> > content.  Interested to hear Mike's comment, in particular!
> >
> > Marx, imho, makes the mistake of developing form and content
> > and in the process gets stuck in a Ricardian muddle.  I suggest that
> > that matters at the early stage of his analysis is that a concept of
> > value is advanced as a principle of universality or commonality in
> > *social relation* of commodities on either side of any set of
> > relations.  What value is 'essentially' must of course be determined
> > but not on the first pages!  Moreover, since value is not a material
> > property but a social relation, discussion of the 'content' of value
> > doesn't make much sense until the value form is fully developed and
> > capital labour relation introduced.  On this I am much in agreement
> > Chris A.  Although agreement between us breaks down once the content
> > value (SNLT) once the capital-labour relation is finally introduced.
> > Chris maintains that once production is shown to be determined by
> > form, then SNLT determines value in production (correct if wrong
> > I prefer to go along with Geert R's radical scepticism on that one!
> > me the value measure can't be anything other than money, because
what is
> > 'socially necessary' in labour time is impossible to conceptualise
> > adequately outside monetary exchange.  That's all for now comrades.
> >
> > Michael, great to have you on board!  Look forward to stimulating
> > discussions
> >
> > Nicky

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