[OPE-L:2156] Re: Depreciation for Paul

Michael Williams (100417.2625@compuserve.com)
Fri, 10 May 1996 17:40:36 -0700

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Simon writes:
I think that Marx is very clear.
1. The substance of value is labour.
2. The measure of the magnitude of value is labour-time (SNLT etc)
3. The form of value is exchange-value.

Michael W writes:
It is clear that Marx asserted all this, but:

1. It is rather unclear what thismeans. What does 'substance' mean in this
context? Does the term 'value' here have any connection with any of its everyday
meanings? In which case it is a characteristic - in fact a dimension - of an
object (viz a commodity).

2. The meaning of this is clear (given the etc's), but in anything except an
everlasting static or steady state equilibrium, it is not quantitatively
determined. (I won't ask what its for - I think I know that, but also think we
don't need it for that purpose.)

3. Why, anywhere but in Adam Smith's hunter-gatherer model, should there be
any systematic relationship between 1.+2. and the rate at which one commodity
exchanges for another?

Better perhaps to start with the last section of ch 1 of vol 1, on commodity
fetishism and the value-form, and then go back to the preceding sections.

Michael W.