[OPE-L:2458] Re: Commodity Money

Michael Williams (100417.2625@compuserve.com)
Mon, 3 Jun 1996 17:24:20 -0700

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Sometime ago, in response to my account of the value-form, Paul asked:
Paul C:
Why do you say that it [abstract etc. labour as the substance of value] is in
principle incommensurable as opposed to simply
saying that it is not, in practice, directly measured in a capitalist

To which Michael W.:
Because I can envisage no way which it can be commensurated except that in which
it is: via systemic market exchange of its outputs, expressed in prices. I do
not believe that the Cockshott/Cottrell measure suceeds in capturing abstract
labour independently of market exchanges.
More to the point, I can see no real mechanism by which any such underlying
substance of value has any independent causal influence on the quantitative
expression of value in price.
I am a bit surprised that someone with Paul's revealed naturalistic aspirations
can bring himself to believe in such a metaphysical concept as the substance of

Yours aye,

Michael W.