RE: [OPE] value-form theory redux

Date: Sun Mar 15 2009 - 20:03:16 EDT

> A metaphysical subtlety. Taking a hylomorphic view of the commodity as
> an ontological compound of the value-form with use-value as matter, I
> would not agree that use-value is an attribute of the commodity.
> The commodity and the use-value, its material bearer, are entities in their
> own right and it does not seem right to call one entity an attribute of
> another. The statue made of bronze is not a metal but bronze is. The
> statue would cease to exist when melted down but the bronze would remain
> in existence.

Thanks for the comment, but ...

That almost sounds like you are saying that the use-value of the
statue is that it is constructed of bronze. But, the use-value of
the statue (or commodities in general) isn't merely that it takes
a material form. For the statue to have use-value as a statue then *its
material form must express concrete social forms*: in this case, a
specific design which is executed through the medium of bronze
which has the characteristic of being perceived as being useful.
I don't think there is a mystery here: the commodity requires certain
material inputs (in this case bronze - as well as specific tools
used by sculptors) and labor power and these material inputs tend
to take the commodity-form. If the statue (the finished commodity)
was melted then the bronze itself would still have some use-value a
nd value and could be re-sold (perhaps at a depreciated rate).

The 'entity' of the statue has a specific material form. In this case,
the concrete material form of the statue is that it is constructed of
bronze. If the statue takes the commodity-form, what you call 'entities'
can not be separated out from each other: the statue has a material form
(a specific use-value), a value, and a necessary form of appearance of
that value as exchange value and money. The reason I think 'attribute'
is a better descriptor than 'entity' is that it is better able to capture
the inter-relationship between use-value and value since, it that
formulation, they are both attributes _of_ the commodity.

In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
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Received on Sun Mar 15 20:05:09 2009

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