[OPE-L:715] Re: Land Prices, Labor and Commodities

Steve.Keen@unsw.edu.au (Steve.Keen@unsw.edu.au)
Tue, 12 Dec 1995 10:59:45 -0800

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John is right that Chapter 1 of Vol 1 is restricted to those
things which are strictly commodities, and at this stage,
land therefore does not qualify. But it must be brought in
at some stage of the analysis, and a perspective on the
determination of exchange-value which argues that value--
defined as socially necessary labor-time--is the only
determinant of exchange-value *cannot* explain why
"virgin" land has exchange-value.

However, this phenomenon can be easily coped with using
the exchange-value/use-value framework that I will
eventually outline (probably tomorrow). And the issue of
the exchange-value of undeveloped land was one of which
Marx was aware, and he was critical of Ricardo's attempt
to provide an explanation for exchange-value based solely
upon value. He stated:

"Ricardo never uses the word value for utility or usefulness or
"value in use". Does he therefore mean to say that the
"compensation" is paid to the owner of the quarries and coalmines
for the "value" the coal and stone have before they are removed
from the quarry and the mine--in their original state? Then he
invalidates his entire doctrine of value. Or does value mean here,
as it must do, the possible use-value and hence the prospective
exchange-value of coal or stone?" (TSV Part II, p. 249, Progress

Steve Keen