[OPE] Understanding value (reply to Michael Heinrich)

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue May 05 2009 - 18:49:32 EDT

I'm sympathetic to Dieterich's aim to improve the conditions of the
Venezuelan people, but I don't see how abolishing the rule of the law of
value can combine with an "equivalence economy" of the type described by
Paul Cockshott, according to which one hour of work would buy goods or
services worth one hour of work.

An equivalence economy of this kind would actually mean a more rigorous,
exact and conscious enforcement of the law of value than there was before.
Incidentally Marx himself rejected a labour-token economy.

I think the whole notion of an equivalence economy is flawed, and you cannot
make it work efficiently; if you try to make it work then it will fail, and
people will only get frustrated and annoyed.

There is no point in non-market methods, if market methods are demonstrably
more effective to achieve the same result.

It is wrong to believe that all resources should be allocated according to
one allocative principle. Resources should be allocated according to
whatever principle is most expedient to achieve an objective or a set of
objectives, and it must be demonstrated that one method is really superior
to another in this sense, not assumed, and that there is sufficient support
for the objectives.

In a computerized society it is in principle possible to institute a "credit
economy" applying a variety of criteria supportive of desirable social
norms, but the problem there is one of "who sets the norms" and whether the
criteria are sufficiently stable and durable, or, whether there is constant
conflict and adjustment of what the norms should be.

What is missing in the Dieterich/Cockshott model as far as I can see, is any
profound consideration of individual freedom and its importance for
allocative decisions, as well as the comparative social efficiency of
resource allocation for various different kinds of methods that could be
opted for.


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