# Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Wed Jun 16 2004 - 03:39:25 EDT

```--- Fred Moseley <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU> wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Jun 2004, ajit sinha wrote:
>
> > --- Fred Moseley <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU> wrote:
> > >
> > > What I mean by "L is taken as given" is this:
> it is
> > > assumed that the
> > > capitalist labor process results in L hours of
> > > socially necessary labor
> > > time, in units of simple unskilled labor.  We
> don't
> > > know what this
> > > quantity is, but it is assumed that it exists,
> and
> > > that it determines the
> > > quantity of money new-value produced during this
> > > period (along with the
> > > MELT), according to the equation:
> > >
> > >         N   =   (MELT)  L
> > ______________________
> > I don't know what N stands for, but whatever it
> is, I
> > presume it is a determined variable.
>
>
> N stands for money new-value produced in a given
> period, as explained in
> previous posts.  In Marx's numerical example for his
> theory of
> surplus-value (in Chapter 7 of Vol. 1), a 6 hour day
> produces money
> new-value of 3 shillings, according to the equation:
>
>         N   =  (MELT) L
>
>         3s  =  (0.5s/h) (6h)
_____________________
Now, both 6 hour day and 3 shillings are observable
categories. First, this statement says that every 6
hours day produces 3 shillings worth of 'money
new-value'. Thus it is claiming that 6 hours of a
carpenter's labor and 6 hours of a mason's labor both
produce the same amount of 'money new-value'. Thus the
abstraction that the 6 hours of carpenter's or mason's
or others labors produce the same 'money new-value' is
made by the theorist and it does not happen through
market or the through the medium of money etc. So, I
guess, my point about the abstract labor is settled by
your own example. Second, though both the hours of
labor and shillings are observable, the relationship
between them, i.e., 6hours of labor produces 3
shillings of 'money new-value' is the assumption of
the author. So the value of MELT is nothing but simply
an assumption too. So your N is nothing but a product
of two assumed (i.e., arbitrary)numbers and therefore,
it is nothing but simply an arbitrary number.
Remember, a theory is more than assumptions.
_________________________
>
> And a 12 hour day produces money new-value equal to
> 6 shillings, according
> to:
>
>         6s  =  (0.5s/h) (12h)
>
> Yes, N is a "determined variable", determined by the
> product of L and
> MELT.
>
>
> > It is, according
> > to your equation, determined by the product of
> (MELT)
> > and L. By your own admission, you don't know how
> much
> > the L is. And up till now you have not told us how
> is
> > the MELT determined. So at present, the above
> equation
> > translates as "nonsense" in plain English.
>
>
> In Marx's theory in Capital, the MELT is determined
> by the value of gold,
> i.e. is equal to the inverse of the labor-time
> required to produce a unit
> of gold (i.e. MELT = 1 / Lg = 1 / (2 hrs. per
> shilling) = 0.5 shilling per
> hour).
__________________________

But how do you get "the inverse of the labor-time
required to produce a unit of gold"? In the production
of gold constant capital is a factor, which is not
gold. So you need to measure the constant capital
factor in arriving at your measure of "labor time
required to produce a unit of gold". My question to
you all for a long time have been: how do you do that?
Cheers, ajit sinha

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