Re: [OPE-L] Ajit Sinha and equality versus equivalence

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Thu Jul 12 2007 - 21:53:47 EDT

Quoting Paul Cockshott <wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK>:
> I think he is right to argue that it is this structure that allows
> the existence of money as a dimension reduction device. The assertion
> that the common scalar is labour, is only an assertion, it is not
> proved in the argument. There are obviously other possible common
> scalars - weight, volume, carbon content etc, but none of these had
> the same immediate empirical plausibility as labour.
> I would argue that the logic of commodity exchange implies a common
> conserved scalar value, and that hypothetically systems of commodity
> exchange could exist in which something other than labour provided
> this conserved scalar, ( some system of robot production for instance
> ), but that in contemporary human society it actually is labour that
> is the underlying scalar. But this is something to be empirically
> tested, not something to be logically deduced.

Hi Paul,

I agree with what I understand to be the general thrust of your argument -
Marx makes a strong argument for the plausibility of labor as the
common property of commodities that determines their exchange values,
but a logical proof of this hypothesis is not possible.  The ultimate
test of this hypothesis is its empirical explanatory power.  And on
this ground, I think that labor as the common property has much more
explanatory power than any other possible hypothesis.  Starting with
the necessity of money and the value of money in SEction 3 of Chapter 1.

What is the difference between equality and equivalence?
Does equivalence require commensurability?
Commensurability is the crucial point in Marx's argument.


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