Re: [OPE] peanut butter value-form theory

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Tue Apr 07 2009 - 04:12:13 EDT

Paula   To make your example valid, Paula, you would have to compensate the reduced amount of inputs to produce a toy model. So, imagine that the demand for toy models is larger enough than the demand for Ferrari. The price of both would be similar.   But the inputs to produce Ferrari are pretty much the same of the inputs to produce Ford. Why Ferrari is more expensive? Because what is scarce here is the craftsman expertise that makes possible a specific configuration of car’s inputs. The craftsmanship to produce Ferrari is scarcer than the craftsmanship to produce Ford. Note that scarcity is a phenomenon that emerges from the combination of demand and availability of resources. The Sahara would have plenty of water if the only ones who need it were reptiles.   Regards,A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: Paula <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: lunes, 6 de abril, 2009 4:12:05 Asunto: Re: [OPE] peanut butter value-form theory Jerry: > If a commodity "embodies" value, or "contains" > labor - including "crystallized" or "congealed" labor, then I'd like > someone to show me that "substance". Hold one cracker in one hand, and in the other small amounts of flour, water, salt, etc. The physical difference between the two is the labor embodied in the cracker. > Perhaps this is the genesis of your belief about whether services which > take the commodity form can represent value?  Clearly, an activity itself, > like hairdressing, can not "embody" abstract labor - in the _literal_ sense. > So, maybe it's a question of you taking a literal expression and applying > it too literally ...? (Here I'm thinking out loud.) Taking physical embodiment seriously produces interesting results. One of them is that service capitalism does not relate to the object world in the same way industrial capitalism does - it relates to it as a collection of use-values, not values. Alejandro: >> Exchange is just a devise to let useful items be delivered on the right time and to the right persons. We can imagine an economy delivering useful items without exchange, as Cottrell & Cockshott have done. That's why I don't know why Paula thinks that exchange in itself has the property of conceding value. << We can imagine delivery without exchange (and exchange without delivery) because these are different and separate functions. The distinction (mentioned here by Jurriaan) between form and content is helpful here. Value is the form, abstract labor is the content. But a content only appears in a particular form under particular conditions - eg H2O (substance) may appear, depending on temperature, as ice (form). Exchange is therefore the condition under which abstract labor appears as value. Just like ice can melt away, so can the value of a cracker disappear (when transported to the dump, or sitting in your cupboard). >> computers are much cheaper in real terms than they were 20 or 10 years ago ... because their relative scarcity have decreased << Alejandro, relative scarcity can't explain the amount of value. Suppose that for each Ferrari car one toy model of the same car was also made, and that demand for both was equal. The relative scarcity of the two items would be the same, but their value would not. Paula _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

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