[OPE-L:721] Re: Land Prices, Labor and Commodities

John R. Ernst (ernst@pipeline.com)
Tue, 12 Dec 1995 18:19:26 -0800

[ show plain text ]

Below is my comment on Steve's comment.

On Tue, 12 Dec 1995 Steve.Keen@unsw.edu.au said:

>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.
Wait a minute, Steve. No one is saying that "virgin" land
is not bought and sold in capitalism. Indeed, it's fairly clear
that putting a price on land is a precondition of capitalism
itself. We know that Marx was not unaware of this and your
post notes his awareness. The basic point seems to be
that value is the determinant of exchange value for those
commodities that can be accumulated. Who would argue
that "virgin" has no price?