Re: [OPE-L] Ricardo and Marx on embodiment

From: Christopher Arthur (arthurcj@WAITROSE.COM)
Date: Tue Oct 04 2005 - 18:38:43 EDT

What I have in mind is two workers (or firms) producing exactly the 
same commodity but one worker operates more inefficiently than the 
other e.g. fetching and carrying materials as required instead of 
bringing them in one go. So we have the same commodity embodying 
different amounts of labour and hence having "different values". But 
the commodity is sold cet par at a social value determined by SNLT:  
hence via this common price value is "redistributed".  It does not 
matter whether we consider individuals or firms. What you are thinking 
of is the case where technical innovation gives some capitalists a 
market edge for a while but the truth is some sell above value and some 
below so some make bigger profits than others; thus the shares of the 
total sales volume in money terms differs from what it would have been 
had all been equally productive: but there is no transfer of value 
because each gets exactly the value he created, the commodities all 
being sold at value albeit some firms produced more and some less in a 
given period. The numbers look the same as in the 'transfer of value' 
reading but conceptually it is very different.
  I do not think Marx himslef claims there is a transfer of value in 
such a case (as distinct from the production price problem) but he 
certainly uses the expression "individual value" which IMO makes no 
sense if V has a purely social reality determined by SNLT.
On 4 Oct 2005, at 13:30, Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM wrote:

> >  Such a reading tens towards an ahistorical concept of
>  > value, and necessarily involves the consequence that the inefficient
>  > worker produces more valuable commodities than the efficient one;
>  > and hence the formation of a social value determined by SNLT must
>  > mean a transfer of value.
> Hi Chris:
> Why, from the perspective that you are critiquing, would an inefficient
>  worker "necessarily" produce more valuable commodities than an
>  efficient one?
> Where it is claimed that there is a transfer of value, isn't the value
> re-distributed from the least efficient capitals to the more efficient 
> ones?
> Isn't the more "efficient" worker, to the extent that the efficiency
> arises from an increase in the productivity of labour and the
> production of relative surplus value, generally employed by the
> more advanced capitalists?
> In solidarity, Jerry
17 Bristol Road

17 Bristol Road

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Oct 07 2005 - 00:00:01 EDT