[OPE] Sytematic Dialectic of the Value-form

From: Philip Dunn <hyl0morph@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Mon Dec 08 2008 - 22:36:54 EST

Chris Arthur's 1998 paper on sytematic dialectic set me off on a strange
track. There is a revised and expanded version online:


I cannot blame Chris Arthur for the following:

A systematic dialectic of the value-form in terms of alternating
separations and doublings is presented. Initially we have a value-formed
but unarticulated whole - intrinsic labour value.

The first polarisation of the totality is the familiar one of relative
and equivalent value. We have relative intrinsic labour value and
equivalence intrinsic labour value.

The rule is that divisions/separations/polarisations/splits are followed
by doublings. If anybody can tell me why I would be grateful to hear it.
My feeling is that splits introduce internal asymmetry whereas doublings
externalise it.

The first doubling of the value-form is into money as buying power and
non-money as selling power. The relative value of money is its
buying-power. The buying power of money, as universal relative, is its
power of command over non-money equivalent value. The relative value of
non-money is its selling power. The selling power of non-money is its
power of command over money as universal equivalent.

There is a vacuous circularity here: non-money value as power over money
value and money value as power over non-money value. To break the
circularity a second separation is required. This splits apart the
relative value and equivalent value of non-money. This allows for
quantitative differences to arise between relative non-money values and
equivalent non-money values; no such difference occurs in the case of
money value. The ground covered up to this point is that of Part I of
Capital I. The result is C-M-C’. C is in the relative position, C' in
the equivalent position and M in both.

The next step could be a doubling so that we have C-M-C' for both the
produced and the producer commodity.

This was great fun and it did clarify a few things but in the end I
moved away from it.

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Received on Mon Dec 8 22:38:46 2008

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