RE: [OPE] intrinsic value

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Fri Mar 20 2009 - 16:09:49 EDT

ok that is a reasonable definition. I was mislead as people used to use the term intrinsic value to mean the labour content of the gold used to make coin, but that is not what you mean. Since money now has no intrinsic value in its original sense you can reapply the term with the new meaning.

From: [] On Behalf Of Philip Dunn []
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 7:48 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] intrinsic

On Fri, 2009-03-20 at 09:46 +0000, Paul Cockshott wrote:
> > In effect the VFT argument ultimately seems to disolve this
> > distinction between labour-content and price.
> The _distinction_ is not dissolved by the non-deviation of prices from
> values. A price is a sum of money. The intrinsic value of that sum of
> money can equal the intrinsic value of the commodity it buys while the
> distinction stands.
> ----------------------------------
> What is the intrinsic value of an account standing at $100 with a solvent US bank?
> It is a magnetic record on the database of the bank, using up to date costings for
> storage media obtained from current adverts
> cost per terabyte $150
> cost per byte $0.00000000015
> bytes per record 80
> cost per record $0.000000012
> storage management $0.000000036
> total $0.000000048
> we could presumably use the MELT to back estimate the number of seconds in this
> we assume a MELT of about $20 an hour which will be correct to a factor of about 2
> Melt per hour $20
> Hour per record 0.0000000024
> Seconds 0.00000864
> nanoseconds 8640
> So we obtain a result that the intrinsic value of our $100 dollar account is a few microseconds
> of labour. Of course, the labour commanded by that account is about 5 hours of labour, so
> it seems unlikely that the intrinsic value of money has anything to do with what it will buy.

I have never suggested that the intrinsic value of money should be
understood as embodied labour. In fact, I regard the value of money as
its intrinsic power to command labour-time. Quantitatively, it is the
reciprocal of the MELT, total value over total price. In TSSI, the
reciprocal of the MELT is also equal to aggregate value-added (aggregate
labour-time) over aggregate money value added. The value of a unit of
money is then aggregate labour-time over aggregate money value added
(clock hours per dollar, say).

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