Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Thu Oct 20 2005 - 08:01:39 EDT

At 11:23 AM +0100 10/20/05, Christopher Arthur wrote:
>  >Hi Rakesh,
>>One thing to do would be to consider from what respective
>>perspectives(individual commodity, system-wide, all possible?) our
>>respective viewpoints are coming from. The most important aspect I have
>>been apparantly abysmally failing to get across is the importance of
>>distinguishing between persepctives, in particular system-wide vs.
>>individual. Your replies seem simply never to have engaged me on this. Yes
>>- I am frustrated!

Please do not be frustrated. The light just has not clicked for me on
this distinction. I simply don't understand how one thing can already
be a value if
  those things in the aggregate have to satisfy other conditions to be
values. How does the individual escape the fate of the collective? Or
something like that is what I am not understanding.
Of course I don't see how the attribution of value to an even
individual commodity before it has been put in successful
relationship with another commodity or the general equivalent is not
simple commodity fetishism. How does something become a
representation of some aliquot of socially necessary abstract labor
time before it has proven itself socially necessary? This I don't

>  >
>>Let's put it another way - in 'what sense' can we say a commodity is not a
>>value prior to sale? No sense at all? In what sense can we say it is?

I think Chris' point is illuminating; to the extent that production
was value form determined the commodity has already been produced as
a value before sale. Which in turn may make it a virtual value
against the backdrop of what I think you taking to be normal market

The commodity is thus produced as a value, but this alone does not
make it a value. The form determination of production (or as Geoffrey
Kay once put it the adequation of material production to valorization
requirements) is simply a precondition for labor time not being
wasted. Time consciousness is the phenomenological counterpart to
this. Yet the capitalist can still do everything right and be
frustrated that he did not have values in hand. The "objective
conditions of the market" may still turn against him, and he may find
that there is indeed a sharp distinction between pre and post sale.


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