Re: [OPE] [1] Marxian equilibrium & reply to Wright.

From: Dave Zachariah (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2008 - 07:15:28 EST

on 2008-02-09 13:35 Alejandro Agafonow wrote:
> In consequence, LVT lacks criteria to redirect socially necessary 
> labour toward the production of useful effects that count with 
> consumers’ endorsement, a remark the Russian economist Boris Brutzkus 
> originally made in his debate with Alexander Chayanov, Stanislav 
> Strumilin y Eugen Varga, before to be exiled from USSR.
> How can you state Ian that labour has the same regulative effect of a 
> temperature setting, if labour precisely lacks the program that would 
> show it toward which goal reorient the system? That is, labour itself 
> can’t be a regulator as far as lacks the criterion that determines its 
> socially necessary character. This socially necessary character only 
> can be offered by consumer preferences –-and in the past some Marxist 
> added the preferences of a dictator, shamefully Oskar Lange among them.

Hi Alejandro,

I think you are misreading "socially necessary" here. If we leave aside 
Marx's formulations for a moment and consider the "labour value" of a 
good or a service to be "the social labour time necessary to reproduce 
it under existing conditions of production". That leaves out any 
conflation with "consumer tastes".

I don't understand why you say it lacks any criteria to redirect social 
labour toward "production of useful effects that count with consumers’ 

The theory states that market prices tend to be proportional to labour 
values. If this is true then implicitly there has to be mechanisms to 
that counter-act supply-demand discrepancies that cause deviations from 
the set of proportional prices. A commodity in high demand will have a 
price above the price proportional to its labour value. Its supply has 
to increase -- i.e. social labour must be redirected to its production 
-- in order to bring its price back into equilibrium. The reverse holds 
for commodities in low demand.

Why must a mechanism have a goal or purpose?

//Dave Z

ope mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Feb 29 2008 - 00:00:03 EST