From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Apr 09 2007 - 19:03:26 EDT
This usage overloads the word 'need' or 'necessary' with two distinct meanings: 1. necessary under current levels of technology 2. necessary to meet currently available market demand I suggest that we hold fast to the first meaning, and not confuse it with the second meaning. The second meaning is so contingent upon things like the class distribution of income, the current monetary an liquidity situation etc, that were we to accept it as part of the definition of value, then value would end up being determined by all sorts of variables which are alien to the labour theory of value. If you take the word necessary in the second sense, you end up being unable to distinguish between price and value. There is also a very strong appologetic import to identifying current monetary demand with 'social necessity'. Paul Cockshott www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc -----Original Message----- From: OPE-L on behalf of Howard Engelskirchen Sent: Mon 4/9/2007 5:59 PM To: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Question Hi Ian, Thanks for the reply. I'm still missing something. Labor embodied or labor commanded, the value of a commodity is measured by the socially necessary labor time required to reproduce it. In the last analysis socially necessary depends on the distribution of labor duration to need. Certainly the mechanisms of competition and of the confrontation of prices carry through such allocations, but how is the distinction between value and prices dissolved? I don't follow the logic that leads to the equation of market price with amounts of socially necessary labor time. Howard ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ian Wright" <wrighti@ACM.ORG> To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU> Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 3:29 AM Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Question > Howard, I think Allin is reminding us of the distinction between the > labour-embodied in a commodity (ex ante and independent of prices) and > the labour-commanded by a commodity (ex post and dependent on prices). > The mismatch between them is part of the process of the allocation of > social labour. Best, -Ian. *************** Hi Allin, I don't follow this at all: > This is an old misunderstanding of Marx, which has the effect of > dissolving the distinction upon which he insisted, between values > and prices. Take your point to its logical conclusion and the > "true" (ex post) amount of socially necessary labour time >embodied in a commodity is always given by... its market price. Wasted labor does not create value; what exactly is the logical conclusion of this and why does it make labor time a function of market price? And what is the old misunderstanding? Howard ----- Original Message ----- From: "Allin Cottrell" <cottrell@WFU.EDU> To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU> Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 10:34 PM Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Question > On Sat, 7 Apr 2007, glevy@PRATT.EDU wrote: > > > Thus, if 'commodities' are not sold then the labor time which > > was used to create them has not been socially validated as > > necessary/useful and hence the magnitude of that labor is > > _subtracted_ from the total amount of labor which (potentially) > > creates value. > > This is an old misunderstanding of Marx, which has the effect of > dissolving the distinction upon which he insisted, between values > and prices. Take your point to its logical conclusion and the > "true" (ex post) amount of socially necessary labour time embodied > in a commodity is always given by... its market price. > > Allin.
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