chaion lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Wed, 6 Dec 1995 06:16:02 -0800

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In reply to Paul (OPE-L:618).

Thank you for your reply. This is a rejoinder.

1. What do you mean by "the fetishistic appearance of value"? Yes, I
argue that labor has a value creating power. But you argue this is a
fetishism. You identified the phrase "value creating power of skilled
labor" with that "labor creating power of skilled labor". You said "the
only labor that has a labor creating power is the labor of birth". In your
statement, labor is directly identified with value itself. This is silly,
however. The substance of value is labor, which I think is the
starting-point of all our discussions. If then, the substance of value
should not be confused with the value itself. Labor is a flow quantum.
Yet value is a lump-sum quantum, a congealed labor. Unproductive labor
is also a labor but does not create any value: labor is one thing, value is
another. The substance of the state is a sovereign power. But the state
that has no sovereign power can still act as a state.

2. Value is not socially necessary labor time. The magnitude of value is
determined by socially necessary labor time. The two statements are not
identical. Testable causal theory? OK. let me take an example. Let us
call the degree of temperature X, and the height of mercury in the
thermometer Y. Can we make independent estimates of X and Y? IMO,
we cannot. To estimate X, I rely on Y although I am well aware that Y
is externally distorted not exactly expressing X. Values cannot be
measured independently of prices, average prices, market values.

3. How to include the labors that people expended to develop the
micronics and computer languages from 100 years ago into the value of
the current software product? Newton's theory is given gratis, with no
charge. So, his labor did not enter into the value of the missiles that
heavily relies on Newton's physics.


Chai-on Lee