Re: (OPE-L) Re: Negative values in pure joint production

From: Philip Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Mon Oct 25 2004 - 04:23:42 EDT

Hi Jerry

At 09:18 22/10/2004 -0400, you wrote:

>Before we leave this topic, there is a question that I'vePhil
>been meaning to ask you.
>Maybe I missed it, but did you provide an explanation for
>why you have struggled with this particular issue for so long?
>I.e. what is it about the topic of negative values in pure joint
>production that you found stimulating, challenging, and/or
Why?  I am no longer sure why originally.  It was a long time ago.  But,
with the benefit of hindsight, the Aristotle's aporetic method is the
key.  Collect together all the puzzles, problems and paradoxes and start
from there.

Initially, I took the problem to be a purely mathematical one within a
fairly orthodox framework.  After about four years I realized that this was
inadequate.  The mathematical analysis was useful in revealing the
intractability of the problem.  At one stage I thought that negative values
were possible but would tend to disappear with capitalist
development.  Techniques of production were designed where possible to
yield positive values and adverse cases could be dismissed on the grounds
of "arrested development".
It was an appeal to "real subsumption".  But the adverse cases cannot just
be ignored.

The problem is important because negative values are bad news. It is
challenging because the problem is impossible to solve in a physical
quantities input output framework.  It was stimulating because it forced me
to think about the problem in Aristotelian terms, e.g. use-value as matter
in relation to the commodity as substance, the way that the individuation
of commodities differs from that of use-values, and generally the
importance of the commodity-form.

> > Labour activity is identical to value creating activity.
>So, e.g., labour activity performed by state employees is
>always value creating activity?

The state is not selling a product here, so v  no value is created and
labour activity, as recognised by money, is zero.


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