Re: (OPE-L) is value labour?

From: Claus Magno (cmgermer@UFPR.BR)
Date: Mon Jun 02 2003 - 15:24:45 EDT


in addressing Chris' post, I realized that I have not answered the post of
yours from May 10 below. I apologize and answer it now:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Zarembka" <zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2003 3:16 PM
Subject: Re: (OPE-L) is value labour?

> On Fri, 9 May 2003, Claus Magno wrote:
> > I'm aware of the fact that
> > the amount of time does not appear as a palpable physical or chemical
> > property of the commodity and is a purely social entity (a social
average of
> > the particular times spent by the several producers). But no doubt each
> > commodity requires a definite amount of time (as a social average) to be
> > produced and in this sense expresses this amount of time in its natural
> > physical form.
> I think if we were to stay with 'expresses' we would be not have much
> difference between us, but ...
> > I hope I have clarified my understanding of this point above. Since the
> > computer monitor requires a definite amount of social time, one can say
> > it "contains" value (I think Marx uses the same concept), but obviously
> > in a physical sense.
> your verb above, 'contains', seems different than 'expresses'.

I in fact make no difference between the two.

> > The monitor is obviously the product not of the hours but of
> > the labour, but it is clearly the product of a definite amount of labour
> > the abstract, hours or days or whatever (as a social average).
> Doesn't this read that the monitor is 'not' the product of labor hours,
> but 'is' "the product of a definite amount of labor in the abstract,
> hours", i.e. labor hours?  The wording is so close as to be identical.
> I think you are looking for labor hours to be 'in' a commodity, which
> seems to be an empiricist essentialism.  Am I incorrect?

No, I'm not looking for this. It seems necessary to remind that I was
answering to you saying that

> Abstract labor is precisely NOT materialized labor, the latter being the
> process of making a specific use-value.

I then said that
"Thus each commodity is the expression of both aspects of labour: the
natural form of the commodity is the palpable expression of both the
particular useful labour that produced it and of the amount of abstract
labour expressed in terms of the amount of time".

I don't see why a commodity should not express both useful and abstract
labour in its materiality. Doesn't a given amount of the money commodity
represent or express a definite amount of value, i.e. abstract labour? It
should be reminded that we are talking of "social labour in average
conditions etc." and not of particular labour, thus one cannot talk of the
amount of labour as being 'in' the commodity in the sense of this particular
labour. But each commodity is undoubtedly the expression of or contains an
amount of social abstract labour.


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