Re: [OPE-L] Complex ... and the French edition of capital

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sun Jun 10 2007 - 23:45:39 EDT

>I agree with Hans.  Abstracting labor power is not amenable to
>quantitative analysis.  Marx made a number of stabs at it; none were
>really satisfactory.

>But as a qualitative analysis, it is extraordinary.


I am not sure I understand what remains of the qualitative analysis
once one cedes the quantitative analysis

The market, not Marx, represents what is the qualitative
irreducibility of real laboring activities from
the point of view of monadic subjectivity as quantitative difference.
So the question becomes for Marx in terms of what kind of labor can
their products be commensurated as commodities. His answer is
premised on the abandonment of a philosophy of monadic subjectivity.

The labor time represented by a commodity is the labor time required
by society to produce that use value.  Of the labor power available
to society  there exists in the organism of every ordinary
individual,  on an average apart from any special development, a
plastic capacity to expend simple labor power (we see this in the
capacity of ordinary individuals to shift job tasks). Commodities
exchange in terms of  temporal duration of this average, simple labor
as required by society to produce them.

Complex labor is only a more or less special development of this
simple average labor power, so it's not difficult to understand why
its product would exchange at some multiple of the product of simple
average labor power.


>  --
>Michael Perelman
>Economics Department
>California State University
>Chico, CA 95929
>Tel. 530-898-5321
>E-Mail michael at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Jun 30 2007 - 00:00:04 EDT