[OPE-L:1298] fictitious value

Michael Perelman (michael@ecst.csuchico.edu)
Mon, 4 Mar 1996 08:51:07 -0800

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Value represents a form of a capitalistic, mediated relationship. In a
simple barter system, we get coats exchanging for linen. As Mike L. has
been insisting, value proper refers to these relationships under conditions
where labor has been subsumed.

Even in the barter system, we get distortions of the value system. Land,
without any value, exchanges as if it has value.

Under capitalism, prices naturally deviate from values because of unequal
organic composition of capitals.

Other deviations crop up because of speculative activity and other
misperceptions of the actual underlying value system. Marx includes some of
these under his concept of fictitious capital.

I see these as introducing a substantial ficiticious element into the value
system, hence fictitious value.

For Marx crises occur, in part, to eliminate fictitious values, to bring
prices more in line with the underlying value system.

I dealt with this in more detail in my 1987 Marx book.
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 916-898-5321
E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu