Re: [OPE] value-form theory redux

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Thu Mar 19 2009 - 05:19:06 EDT

On Wed, 2009-03-18 at 01:44 +0000, Paula wrote:
> Dave's concept of 'economic value' as commensurability does not sufficiently
> distinguish between value and use-value.
> When we talk of value here we are talking of embodied labour value. One
can in principle have other value bases - energy value for example.
Now these other bases are much less successfull than embodied labour
in predicting actual prices, but they share certain formal properties
with labour.

When we have a value basis it is in mathematical terms something that
allows us to perform a projection operation from a vector of commodity
holdings onto a one dimensional subspace or basis vector.

This formal property of dimension reduction is shared by a variety of
different possible value bases. Subjective commensurability does not
enter into it, since one can compute the energy, carbon or labour value
of different products by the same means.

> When Richard III said 'my kingdom for a horse' he was equating two very
> different use-values. But nothing in the quality of being a horse is
> commensurable with the quality of being a kingdom. Such valuations therefore
> do not refer to the intrinsic qualities of the objects compared, but to a
> third quality - the subject's need for them. What Richard was measuring, in
> other words, was his own desperation.
> It is very different when we say '1 coat is worth the same as 1 chair'.
> This kind of value is independent from users' needs; it refers to an
> intrinsic quality both objects share in equal amounts - embodied abstract
> labor.
> Paula
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Thu Mar 19 05:21:19 2009

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