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

From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Fri Mar 02 2007 - 06:42:43 EST

Allin writes:

>There are various levels here:

>1. The labour times required to produce things
>2. "Value" (or "labour value")
>3. Exchange value
>4. Price

Notice the levels here are levels of the quantitative.  There is also a
qualitative consideration within which all this sits and without which sense
cannot be made of it:  levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 all are a consequence of a
particular social form of labor -- units of production produce separately
products they do not need.

And, speaking to a related point in the discussion, the real definition of a
commodity is given by the so to speak qualitative social structure which is
its cause.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Allin Cottrell" <cottrell@WFU.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

> Paul:
> >> Prices are 'a' in the sense of one possible, of the necessary
> >> modes of expression of value.
> Jerry:
> > That's a  non-sequitur.  If  prices are a _necessary_ mode of
> > expression of value then the value of commodities _necessarily_
> > comes to be expressed through price.
> Allin:
> Then why not say prices are _the_ necessary mode of expression of
> value?  The 'a' seems to imply that values need to be expressed
> somehow, and prices are one way of doing so, depending on the
> social context.  Which is what I believe.
> There are various levels here:
> 1. The labour times required to produce things
> 2. "Value" (or "labour value")
> 3. Exchange value
> 4. Price
> Paul and I tend to favour a terminology in which 1 and 2 are just
> equivalent: "value" means the labour time required.  Then the
> question is: how does value "manifest itself"?  In a
> commodity-producing society, where the products are private
> property, this will be via exchange value; and in a money-using
> society exchange value will in turn be represented by price.
> In a planned economy, however, value does not require an
> "indirect" representation; it can be calculated based on knowledge
> of the direct labour coefficients and the input-output relations.
> Allin Cottrell

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