Re: [OPE] Odyssey and the Peruvian treasure

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Tue Feb 10 2009 - 19:50:02 EST

> Well just to save a lot of ostentation, my view is that products possess the attribute of value
> simply and minimally because it takes human effort to produce them, and they have that value
> irrespective of whether they currently happen to be traded and irrespective of whether they have
> prices or not.


You are entitled to your own opinion, but that view of 'commodity' - imo- conflates 'product' with
'commodity'. The category of commodity in my view - and in the view of almost all (?) heterodox
economists - is more specific than the more general trans-historical category of (labor) product.
This includes the specification that a commodity is a product of human labor which is produced *in
order to be sold*. This contrasts with a product which might be produced in order to be consumed
directly by the direct producer - as was the case historically with many forms of subsistence farming.
So long as people have existed, so have products (which is another way of saying that production in
general is necessary for human survival). Commodity production, though, is more specific in meaning.

In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Tue Feb 10 19:51:55 2009

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