[OPE-L:1872] Re: [Massimo] Re: Definitions of value

Massimo De Angelis (M.DeAngelis@uel.ac.uk)
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 09:29:23 -0700

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> Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 08:58:48 -0700
> Reply-to: ope-l@anthrax.ecst.csuchico.edu
> From: Paul Cockshott <wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <ope-l@anthrax.ecst.csuchico.edu>
> Subject: [OPE-L:1869] Re: [Massimo] Re: Definitions of value

> >
> >Massimo
> >
> >Sorry Paul, but it does not follow necessarily from your definiiton.
> >You define value of a product as " the portion of society's labour needed to
> >reproduce it" You define labour as "Clock time multiplied by people"
> >and you "of coruse" mean "people engaged in work".Which answers to
> >my querstion "Define your labour please" as "labour is people engaged
> >in work moltiplied by clock time". It sounds very close to a
> >tautology to me.
> Paul
> ----
> It is not a tautology, since that is an argument that is true
> by definition.

What is true by definition,. your definition of labour as " people engaged
in work moltiplied by clock time"?? Yet this does not tell me what
is ****labour**** for you.

> I was not presenting an argument but giving a
> definition of how one should go about measuring labour, when
> considering it as a portion of the total labour of society.

I did not ask how you are measuring labour, but what is what you
intend to measure.

> It it appears like a tautology, simply a restatement of the
> obvious, then that is no disadvantage. If one is to have a definition
> of labour time as person hours, then this must come down in the
> end to counting people and timing activities.

What activities. Different activities? Activities carrying common
fetures. Common dispendium of labour power without regard of the form
of its expenditure????????

> The definition is relatively simple, actually obtaining data
> on it in a capitalist economy is much harder.

Still waiting for the definition of labour.

> Remember this is just a definition,

which one?

>it is only when we make some
> hypotheses from the definition, that one goes beyond the tautological.
> If, for instance, I assert that the observed mean rate of money
> profit in a capitalist economy will be a monotonically decreasing
> function of the proportion of societies labour time devoted to
> the production of means of production, then I am making a non-tautological
> statement.

Faaaaaaaar beyond my question.

> The usefullness of a definition stems from the ease with which it
> enables one to formulate, hopefully true, hypotheses that go
> beyond the definition itself.

I am interested in your definition of labour and not in its
usefulness at this stage.