Re: [OPE] Odyssey and the Peruvian treasure

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Tue Feb 10 2009 - 17:38:47 EST

Gerald Levy wrote:
> Of course, the gold was
> deemed to be 'valuable' in those societies, but 'valuable' in not the
> same as 'value'.
> This is not merely a linguistic distinction.
> The value relationship, at least the way I understand it, concerns a
> particular set
> of social relationships related to the meaning of *commodity*.

I think this is too narrow. (Labour-)value, at least in Marx's analysis,
presupposes a process that reduces concrete labour into 'abstract
labour' in quantitative terms. Commodity production implies a
historically specific way in which this process occurs. But there are
other ways. Indeed Marx himself suggested that abstract labour existed
in different historical societies although he didn't analyse this in any
depth because he was preoccupied with capitalism.

I agree with Jurriaan's comment that there is a danger that 'value'
becomes something re-mystified, leading to strange demands that "value
should be abolished" etc. For clarity it would be better to explicitly
denote it as 'labour-value'.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Tue Feb 10 17:40:40 2009

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