[OPE-L:2360] commodities, land, and production

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sat, 25 May 1996 04:09:06 -0700

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Chai-on wrote in [OPE-L:2536]:

> A commodity is anything that is traded with money. [...] Land, too is
> a commodity no matter whether it is produced by human labor or not, and
> whether it is done by the capitalist method or not.

While land (potentially or actually) has use-value and exchange-value, it
does not by itself have value since it is not a product of human labor. In
that sense, I think it is mistaken to refer to land as a commodity even
though it comes to have an exchange value and is bought and sold on the

While human labor is frequently needed (but not necessarily required in
all instances) to transform land before it can come to be productively
used (e.g. by clearing out trees and rocks), the price of land, rent, is
governed not by value but by the supply and demand for land.

Land is therefore appropriated by humans rather than being a product of
human labor. Income is then received by landowners by virtue of private
ownership rather than through the production of value, surplus-value, and

In OPE-L Solidarity,