Re: (OPE-L) is value labour?

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue May 06 2003 - 10:06:52 EDT

gerald_a_levy wrote:

> Paul C wrote on 5/3: > If one considers that value is labour,  then the value of> money is unproblematic. And on 5/6, he wrote: > What I am saying
> is that if one takes value either to be
> > labour, or even Smith's command over labour, then the
> > notion of a decline in the value of money is well founded.

> Yet, value is no more labour then labour is labour-power.To say that labour (of a particular form) creates value isquite different from saying that
> value _is_ labour.

I would say that value is labour, and that value becomes manifest
in commodity producing societies in the form of exchange

> Also,to say that the magnitude of value is  determined bysocially-necessary-labor-time is different from saying thatvalue _is_ labour. [As far as
> Marx's take on this is concerned (happy b-day,btw), note that Chris A took the late Ernest Mandel to task forclaiming that "For Marx *labour is
> value*".

I would agree with Mandel here.

>  Chris argues thatthis is "directly refuted by Marx's own text"  (Volume 1 of _Capital_)where M wrote that "labour is not itself value."   Chris
> goes onto claim that Mandel "overlooked the importance of the value*form*" ("Value Labour and Negativity" in _Capital & Class_,73, Spring 2001, p.
> 31).    What is unclear to me, though, iswhen Marx *first* expressed this proposition that labour is notvalue.  E.g. what did he write about this in
> the drafts of_Capital_?]

I think that Marx was not 100% clear on the distinction between value
and exchange value at first. His clearest distinction between them
comes in Notes on Wagner.

> > If one thinks that value is essentially something specific
> > to exchange - rather than being founded on something
> > prior to exchange - then the idea of a decline in the
> > value of money is no longer well founded.

> If one believes that there is a unity of the process ofcapitalist production and circulation then value is somethingspecific to the nature of the
> commodity-form

Why? this is a non-sequitur. How can ones belief about some
particularity of the capitalist mode of production - the unity of
production and circulation ( whatever that  means ), lead to
conclusions about other modes of production - namely that value
is absent from them.

One might as well say that because I believe that all
capitalist economies use coin , coins do not
exist in non-capitalist economies.


Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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