From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Aug 20 2007 - 08:16:30 EDT
C Germer ----------- There can only be a social average labour time if there is exchange of commodities, which is based on the equalization of the SNLTs required to produce the commodities exchanged. Without exchange, why and how would the producers be forced to reduce their labor time to the social average? Paul C ------ Consider an economy like that of pre-Spanish Peru. Social labour existed in this society but not commodity exchange. The different villages growing potatoes etc, would in practice have had very similar average labour inputs to produce the crop even though the crop was not sold, because people have a natural desire to minimise their efforts. If they see a technique in the neighbouring village that allows food to be got with less labour they will adopt it. This law of the economisation of labour existed well before commodity exchange, were this not the case how do you account for the spread of agricultural techniques during the neo-lithic revolution? C Germer -------- This is why, imo, Marx says that value is the social form of the products of labour in the commodity producing economy ("so also is it impossible to abolish money itself as long as *exchange value (=meaning value) remains the social form of products* " - Grundrisse). Paul C ------ It looks to me as if this passage from Marx supports Jurrian rather than you. You are forced to reinterpret it to fit your paradigm. Marx mentions exchange value, you correct him saying he really should mean value here. Jurrians point is that Marx distinguishes between exchange value and value itself. Thus when he wrote exchange value he meant exchange value, not value. C Germer -------- In the first quotation above, although it may be interpreted as meaning that exchange-value is the expression of an ever existing essence of the products of labour - value - the fact is that value, i.e., average social labour time, only comes into existence because of the generalization of exchange. Paul C ------ Averages do not depend on exchange. There would have been an average weight of cacao pod harvested in Mexico even if these pods were not exchanged, there would also have been an average time to pick them even if the pods were not exchanged.
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