Re: [OPE-L] salto mortale

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Sat Mar 03 2007 - 12:33:45 EST

On Sat, 3 Mar 2007, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

>> In socialist society gold will remain more valuable than copper or
>> lead. Society may be able to
>> afford to roof halls with copper, but not gold.
>> Paul Cockshott
> A bit misleading, I think. Our social relations of production seem to
> be established only if the things we exchange happen to possess
> value--so dependent are we on things--but in fact the things we
> possess only appear to possess value because the nature imposed
> necessity of our social relations of production are mediated by
> things which seem to have acquired this property of
> value...

As I read Marx on fetishism, the "fetish" is the idea that
commodities somehow possess value as a sort of intrinsic property.
I agree that's fetishistic, and I find Marx's analysis of the
phenomenon intriguing, if obscure.

However, what Paul's saying above (and what Ricardo said, for that
matter) is simple and non-fetishistic: gold is valuable because it
takes a lot of labour time to extract it.  The value of gold is
not inherent in the gold itself, but in the relationship between
our technology and the thing itself.  (If we found a cheap way to
create gold atoms, the way we can now create diamond, the value
would fall.)


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