[OPE-L:1061] Re: Definitions and Tautologies

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Wed, 14 Feb 1996 17:01:32 -0800

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In 1049 I was perhaps a bit too sharp, but Andrew's response

> Doesn't Marx say the commodity contains dead labor? Isn't dead labor
> required for production in his theory?

does not meet my objection. Of course the commodity contains 'dead
labour'. My point was that in Marx -- as in Ricardo -- this is the
labour-time that was (or is currently) required to _produce_ the
means of production, and not the labour-time which those means of
production command in exchange. If prices equal values (in the
standard sense) then these two magnitudes are equal -- but if they
diverge, I see no warrant, textual or theoretical, for evaluating
the means of production at labour-commanded. Yet that is what
Andrew's theory requires. I am not rejecting this theory "because
I don't like the implications", but because it seems incoherent
and because I see no warrant for it in Capital.

Well, I expect we're not going to reach agreement on this.