Re: [OPE-L] Queries about Karl Marx vs Adolph Wagner on value, exchange value and price formation

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Sep 20 2007 - 03:38:17 EDT


Question 1: what does Marx operationally mean, when he claims "price
formation does not affect the determination of value in any way"?
Possible answer: the determination of value consists exclusively of the
expenditure of social labour-time in producing products, independently
of price-setting.

Question 2: what does Marx operationally mean when he says "the
formation of exchange-value has nothing in common with value formation"?
Possible answer: value formation refers exclusively to the expenditure
of social labour-time resulting in products, the formation of
exchange-value refers to the achievement of relatively stable trading
ratios for products, expressible in money-units.

Question 3: what is the operational meaning of "the grain being sold
over [in excess of] its value"?
Possible answer: if the grain is sold in excess of its value, it means
that products of less labour-time effectively trade for products of more
labour-time, where the money which the grain sells for represents a
claim to a quantity of labour-time larger than that which the production
of the grain in fact represents, or, that this money can alternatively
buy other products with a labour-content larger than that of the grain.


I think your interpretation is correct on all these points, and this
passage would, I think, be hard for those who identify value input in
the transformationprocess with money spent, to reconcile with their view
of Marx.

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