[OPE-L] Value and Exploitation

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Oct 21 2005 - 13:53:24 EDT

Paul B wrote:

>  What is
>  striking about the 'value is only value' after 'sale', school (apart from
>  clearly reflecting a shop keeper mentality) is that it seems to separate
>  the concept of value from that of exploitation in the workplace. Really
> quite striking! Value as capital is wealth extorted from an imprisoned
> class, and to regard the value relation as non existent before the
> individual sale or sales - ie not to assume ( like our friends the astute
> accountants must do)  that the 'business ' is 'ongoing' at any point of
> appraisal - seems to me to be quite, let us say, 'odd'.

I replied to Paul's post earlier today.  However, I want to note now
that the claim that Paul B has made  about those who "separate the
concept of value from that of exploitation in the workplace" -- while
_not_ having merit in regard to those (including value-form theorists)
 who claim that value is actualized in exchange  -- *does* have merit
ironically for those who believe that value exists wherever there is
'commodity' production.

Consider the case of  commodities produced by producer
cooperatives in which there is worker ownership and control.
Clearly, the products produced by these cooperatives are
produced in order to be sold.  They also typically have a use-
value and an exchange value.  They thus represent value from
the perspective of those who believe that a particular social and
class relationship (that between wage-labour and capital) is not
required for the constitution of value.  Yet, there is clearly no
exploitation which necessarily arises in the case of the producer
cooperative.  Hence, the link between value and exploitation
is broken and the concept of value can exist without exploitation
in the workplace.   Paul's charge is thus misdirected:  rather
than being directed against value-form theorists and others who
emphasize the role of exchange, it should instead be directed
at those who have a trans-historical conception of value.

In solidarity, Jerry

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