Re: [OPE-L] Why aren't non-labourers sources of value? cost

From: Christopher Arthur (arthurcj@WAITROSE.COM)
Date: Wed Apr 13 2005 - 18:06:33 EDT

Andy and all
Yes I do disagree with you a lot.

>Well, mine ends up recognising labour time as the fundamental unit of cost
>in any society. And it recognises the product as an embodiment of labour
>in any society.

To begin with I disagree here, both in secific and because I dispute any
approach to value theory starting from what is present in any society. You
are simply wrong about this 'cost'. Peasants have a saying 'Time costs
nothing'.  Only capital is interested in time becausde  the form of the
circuit of accumulation requires measure in a rate over time. Intuitively
one might think all socieiites worry about effort but that is not the same
as time because it would include intensity and unpleasantness etc. etc. But
in any case as Marx said, for UV questions using up resources is also a

>Then the inversion of capitalism turns  embodied  labour into
>congealed  abstract labour and it is obvious that SNLT is its measure.
>This often tends to be denied in systematic dialectics despite, for
>example, Chris s excellent  Dialectics of Labour  from which I draw
>quite a lot (e.g. labour as concrete universal).

Oops - wrong reference: that it title of my book on alienation. correct
reference is Dialectics and Labour

 >Am much closer to Chris than others on these matters   perhaps my
differences with Chris stem more from other aspects such as the basics of
materialist dialectics whereby exchange value is clear evidence of a power
and hence *must* have a material grounding.

You are only formally close to me in that we both retain determination by
SNLT but for yu this comes apriori out of your ahistorical point above, for
me it comes from the form of capital and the form of the capital relation.
As you rightly say I reject the inference from your materialist dialectic
abour real powers. Precisely because of the inversion of abstract and
concrete it is possible to have empty forms. I have never understood how
you deal with 'honour and conscience' - is the sale of these evidence of a
material power? Generally I think it is impermissable for LTV simply to
note that 'other things' have a price form. This is precisely what must be
explained, and I explian it and then ask under what circumstances might it
be right to argue some of these prices have material grounds.
chris A

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Apr 20 2005 - 00:00:01 EDT