[OPE-L:729] Re: LTV an assumption?

Gilbert Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Wed, 13 Dec 1995 15:53:38 -0800

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> > To put the shoe on your foot: on what authority do you assert that
> > the mere accident, shared by several commodities, that they are all
> > exchanged for a certain quantity of yet another commodity, establish
> > a "major factor" about the former from which one can draw inferences
> > about a measurable element common to them all?
> It is not a "mere accident" that commodities under conditions of
> capitalist production are: a) products of human labor, and b) are
> exchanged using the medium of money.

I agree: (a) is not an accident because Marx *defines* a commodity
as a good produced for exchange, and production requires labor; (and
if it didn't, I'd have another counter-example to Marx's claim that
exchange expresses "something equal"; (b) is not an accident because
Marx is talking about well-developed market economies
(have we settled yet whether or not Marx is talking about capitalism or
just petty commodity exchange in Part 1?), which
are characterized by exchange using the medium of money.

However, these are irrelevant to my argument. It *is* an accident of
time and place that x, y, and z quantities of a, b, and c
commodities, respectively, are exchanged for a quarter of wheat.
Jerry, in your original post you imply, without justification, that
*this* single fact is a "major factor", unlike "being on the 60th
parallel." You still have not justified this claim. And it must be
more than "major"; the relevant factor must establish a necessary
relationship of equality, not equivalence, which simple exchange does
not do.

> [Labor] time is capable of being measured as Paul C. said -- with a
> stopwatch.

Indeed it is. But the claim that labor time measured in this way has
something to do with the exchange value of commodities is still based
on an invalid premise, because exchange expresses a relationship of
equivalence, not equality.

In solidarity, Gil