Re: 'simple commodity production'

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Tue Sep 21 2004 - 07:45:21 EDT

--- Allin Cottrell <cottrell@WFU.EDU> wrote:

> On Thu, 16 Sep 2004, ajit sinha wrote
> (in response to Paul C on price equilibration in
> pre-capitalist
> societies)
> > But Paul, my point was that the income
> differentials may become
> > customary, so the customary prices may not reflect
> labor-values. In
> > my opinion, before the advent of classical
> economics, and in this
> > context Ricardo rather than Smith, the fair price
> was calculated
> > by,more or less, adding up established customary
> returns.
> This seems to me an egregious confusion of the
> thought object with the
> real object.  Ricardo articulated a theory of the
> effects of market
> competition: he did not invent such competition.
Allin, the idea that an idea does not come into being
before the material conditions for it is ready is an
aspect of historical materialism; and Marx uses it to
suggest that why Aristotle could not come up with a
theory of value in a slave society. Though I have some
reservations about various aspects of historical
materialism, I do not think that it is a nonsensical
idea. Though I cannot talk about people's happiness,
but it does make sense to me to think that there could
be socities where conventions may play a dominant
role--thus conventions determining the income levels
and therefore prices rather than the other way round.
I think conventions play significant role even in our
present day economies as well but our education has
made us blind to it.
> I would require a lot of historical evidence before
> I concluded that
> people prior to the 19th century were perfectly
> happy with "customary"
> returns and did not seek out opportunities for
> betterment, at least
> over the long periods that Paul was talking about.
I don't remember the context of Paul's post. I'm only
reacting to what I had said. Cheers, ajit sinha
> Allin Cottrell

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