Re: [OPE] value-form theory redux

From: Paul Bullock <>
Date: Sun Mar 15 2009 - 14:15:54 EDT


your ? question "Marx's formula that a commodity is a use-value and a
value is poor. How can one thing be two things?" precisely the
question that society asked.

A commodity is a contradictory unity, and from this arises the
social attempt to resolve the 'problem' (your question) ; first came the
evolution of the money
commodity which can take on all the burdens of expressing the value of the
other commodities, whilst they 'relax' and just be 'useful' is their own
specific ways. (otherwise the poor commodities have to be both a useful good
for the consumer yet also act , or have the potential to act, at any time as
money for someone elses goods !!.. a thoroughly unsatisfactory state of
affairs.... a social contradiction... what am I money or good?
(Bourgeois economics only grasps a 'quantitive' problem here in its stories
about problems of barter,
refusing to acknowledge the existence of social value, and refering only to
the frustration of individual quantitative preferences).

Of course this resolution of the contradiction .. the creation of the
special money commodity leaves the whole system open to a myriad of possibilites for the
obstruction/failure of the role
of money in realising value, and so various types of 'crises'.

Marx was able to show that within the production process itself, the
attempts to increase the rate of exploitation by the property owning class
would eventually create conditions - an organic composition of capital
that no longer produces an adequate rate of return - that forces the
between money and 'goods' to rupture and exposes the whole process to
recognised failure, piles of unused money and piles of commodities that
owners can't sell..... etc

Paul Bullock

----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Dunn" <>
To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2009 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE] value-form theory redux

> On Sat, 2009-03-14 at 14:01 +0100, Dave Zachariah wrote:
>> Good, we are getting to the core of the issue. First, let me clarify my
>> statement (1), since it seems like Philip misread it. I claim that
>> 'economic value' is a property that use-values *acquire* in societies.
> Let me clarify also. I did not misread. Use-values can never acquire the
> property of value. They can become the material bearers of commodities.
> The idea is that use-values and commodities are different entities.
> Marx's formula that a commodity is a use-value and a value is poor. How
> can one thing be two things?
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Sun Mar 15 14:24:28 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 31 2009 - 00:00:03 EDT