# Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Sun Feb 25 2007 - 04:07:58 EST

```Ajit:

That's good! This is the only way to proceed. Now
three questions:(1) Do (wH), (pH), (mH)stand for say
100, 200, and 300 hours of labor? And if so, then do
w, p, and m stand for \$100, \$200, and \$300?

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Diego:

Yes.

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(2) What is the difference between direct values, production
values and market values and similarly with prices?
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Everybody knows the difference between direct prices, production prices and
market price. Now, I add: if we think like Marx that "price is the
money-name of the labour realised in a commodity", and we realize that, as
Foley puts it, "Marx constantly uses this conception to move back and forth
between money and labor accounts", then I agree with Marx in that the
differences between direct values, production values and market values are
not but a kind of translation from the same differences in price terms, or
vice versa.

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(3)Where does euro or dollar comes from? Remember! you
are in your theoretical world, where you have
apparently taken a set of production equations for the
production of your commodities and wages for labor
etc. If you have specified a relationship of this
system with euro or dollar then make it explicit.
Otherwise, you have no option than to take something
like gold or silver, which is produced as a commodity
in your system of production, as a measure of your
money variable. Your turn now! Cheers, ajit sinha
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Well, I am afraid that the answer to this will not be easily accepted. But,
first, remember that I am not using the MELT exactly: for every commodity I
translate from labour to money by using "the average, social productivity of
labour in terms of money", which "coincides as a practical result with the
'monetary expression of value' (Duménil and Foley, 2006) or the inverse of
what Fine, Lapavitsas and Saad-Filho (2004) calls the 'labor expression of
money'."

As for the other point, I think you are mentioning the question of the
relationship between gold money and credit money. The latter is the
successor of the former and contrarily to the usual interpretation I think
that it is as much a commodity as its predecessor (but this leads to the
question of productive and unproductive labour and I don't think we should
mix the two issues). Therefore the relationship between any commodity and
money is the relationship between two commodities (included the relationship
between the productivities in the production of both of them), the second
being however a special case, since money functions as the general
equivalent. This is why I said in a previous message that prices show the
relationship between every commodity with all the others, or the comparison
between individual (i.e. sectoral) productivities and the average social
productivity.

Cheers,

Diego.
```

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