Re: [OPE-L] The value of labour-power

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Fri Jun 09 2006 - 20:16:27 EDT

I don't find this persuasive but Torrance suggests that we think
of labor power as qualitatively similar to conscience or honor in the following
Marx writes: "The price-form, however, is not only compatible with
the possibility of a quantitative incongruity between magnitude of
value and price, i.e., between the former and its expression in
money, but it may also conceal a qualitative inconsistency, so much
so, that, although money is nothing but the value-form of
commodities, price ceases altogether to express value. Objects that
in themselves are no commodities, such as conscience, honour, &c.,
are capable of being offered for sale by their holders, and of thus
acquiring, through their price, the form of commodities."
For Torrance, labor power is not in itself a commodity, but the mode
of expression of commodity value, viz. price, achieves partial
autonomy and can be applied to non commodities as well.
Of course since labor power remains 'attached' to its owner
after it has been 'alienated' for a pottage and even as this birthright is
being used does suggest that labor power does indeed  have only the
form of a commodity.

Should we thus not think of it as commodity proper?


>This has been touched on in the current discussions.
>Is the value of labour-power to be understood as embodied labour?
>Clearly, the commodities consumed by workers possess embodied labour. Is
>the value of labour-power to be understood as non-intrinsic, as the
>value of something else, namely that of the commodities consumed? If
>labour-power possesses intrinsic, embodied labour value does this value
>transfer to the commodity produced? Or is it destroyed at the moment of
>Enough questions, some assertions.
>Embodied labour value is intrinsic value but intrinsic value need not be
>embodied labour. The intrinsic value of the produced commodity is its
>embodied labour. The intrinsic value of the producer commodity is its
>labour-power. This is the identity theory of labour and value.  Wherever
>there is labour there is also value. Embodied labour is one moment of
>labour, labour-power is another. Embodied labour value is different from
>labour-power value since embodied labour is different from labour-power.
>Both are different from money labour value. Money is purchasing power.
>Its intrinsic value is its power of command over labour.
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>address from your Internet provider.

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