[OPE-L:2365] RE: NB: conlee

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Sun, 26 May 1996 21:42:15 -0700

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Gill Skillman wrote in [2362]:

What about Marx's additional stipulation that a commodity must be an item **produced** for exchange?


Could you point out the exact place of Marx's stipulation? And how
about the following statement of Marx?

"Things which in and for themselves are not commodities, things such
as conscience, honour, etc. can be offered for sale by their holders,
and thus acquire the form of commodities through their price. Hence a
thing can, formally speaking, have a price without having a value. The
expression of price is in this case imaginary, like certain quantities in
mathematics. On the other hand, the imaginary price-form may also
conceal a real value-relation or one derived from it, as for instance the
price of uncultivated land, which is without value because no human
labor is objectified in it." (Capital vol 1, p 197, Pelican edition)

In the above, the uncultivated land is classified differently from the quasi-
commodities such as conscience, honour, etc. A transaction in the
exchange with such goods cannot be binding as it is itself illegal. But
the land is not the case. It can be the object of exchange with money