Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 13:05:16 EDT

On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 09:49:34 -0700
  Ian Wright <wrighti@ACM.ORG> wrote:
> Andy, Rakesh
> This is restating Andy's point with different terminology, so not sure
> if it is helpful.

Not really because I am arguing that value is not an intrinsic
property of commodities. To say that it is intrinsic to or inherent in
or dispositional of commodities in themselves, i.e.
outside the system of the relative and equivalent form relation,  is
simply commodity fetishism. I have argued however that it makes
sense to speak of abstract labor at least theoretically outside
of the value form social relation. For example the very argument
that abstract labor did not have practical validity in say a caste
society is already to assume homogeneous social labor for we
are looking at the barriers to its reallocation in the face of natural challenges
or social changes.


Often useful to make a distinction between
> "dispositional" properties and "occurrent" properties. For example,
> the property of being "brittle" is a dispositional property: a brittle
> glass has a disposition to shatter under given circumstances. Just
> because a particular glass never exhibits the occurrent property of
> "shattering" does not imply that it is not brittle. Similarly, just
> because a particular commodity never exhibits the occurrent property
> of "exchanging" does not imply that it lacks the  dispositional
> property of value.
> More generally, this links to the idea that causal possibilities,
> whether actualised or not, are real, a point the early Bhaskar makes
> with his emphasis on a stratified ontology, and the associated
> distinction between the real (all the possibilities), the actual
> (those possibilites actually realised) and the empirical (those
> actualised possibilites in fact noticed by us). The empirical is a
> tiny subset of what's actually out there! (Which is a fun thought).
> Best wishes,
> -Ian.
> On 10/19/05, Andrew Brown <> wrote:
>> Hi Rakesh,
>> You wrote:
>> "But use value is not a social relation per se; it is a relation between
>> user and thing."
>> There are of course many disanalogies between use-value and value. I have no
>> reason to disagree with what you say about use-value. My point related to
>> one aspect only, viz. what we mean when we say 'realised'. And here there is
>> a similarity between use-value and value. Both are 'realised' after the
>> commodity is produced: use-value in consumption, value in sale. In both
>> cases it is very easy to misinterpret of the term 'realised'. It is a
>> misinterpretation to consider that use-value does not exist before it is
>> realised, and to think that value does not exist before it is realised. What
>> does not exist in each case is the actualisation of the respective powers
>> involved.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Oct 20 2005 - 00:00:03 EDT