[OPE-L:3860] Redefinition of value in V.3

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 04:18:24 -0800 (PST)

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Thanks to Paul for the comments in OPE-L 3859.
Some additional questions and opinions:

> >So, my question to Paul is: Why do you consider that in the
> >single-system approach is there some "redefinition of
> >value" in V.3, Ch. 9 with respect to the V.1 definition?
> I agree that one can construct a system of prices of production
> in which the prices will be equal to the values. But this
> is a retrospective definition which of value according
> to a particular reading of volume 3.
> It is not derivable from the definition in volume 1

What do you mean for "derivable"? Tugan, Bort & Co.
definition is not "derived" in V.3. It is always the same.
Precisely this is their error: To neglect that in V.3 more
concrete conditions are taken into account, in particular
that cost-price corresponds to production prices. On the
other hand, the definition we use un V.3, Ch.9 is
"structurally" the same as we used for V.1. So, in this
sense, I could think that is "derived" from that in V.1

Incidentally, the word "derived" is present in the
literature, but its meaning is very obscure. Sometimes
seems an algebraical procedure ("production prices
cannot be derived from values"); sometimes is a
"conceptual process". What do you think?

> and
> except in the sort of special case you derive, the value
> of a commodity defined as cost price + mehrwerts will not
> in general be equal to the labour necessary to produce it.

I agree that in V.3, Ch. 9 we are in an "special case". But
I think that the definition cost price + mehrwert (defined
in labor-time terms) is in general equal to the labour
necessary to produce the commodity. Why not? Cost-price is
an amount of money that represents an amount of labor time,
so, in the last instance, it is an amount of labor time.
This is what is "necessary" on account of "inputs" to
produce the commodity. As we discussed in another posts,
money is an unavoidable condition of capitalist society
and, at the same time, it is only a representation of
labor time.

> This is the basic vol 1 definition, that value is
> socially necessary labour time.

It is the same thing in V.3, as we define it. The only
difference is that I used a normalization expressing this
labor-time in terms of money, but we can obtain a vector in

> In my view the single system approach
> is based on a conflation of value with exchange value.

Well, you are not using a precise terminology. When you say
"value" I think you are referring to "labor". Am I right?
If it is true, Marx has a PRECISE word for this:
VALUE-SUBSTANCE. When you say "exchange value", I think
you are referring to Marx's VALUE-FORM.
Value is the unity of this two aspects. In particular
"value" is not "labor". Value is labor that MUST be
represented as money. This is not a "conflation", it is a
condition of capitalist society.
Value is a contradictory unity, not a "conflation".
Precisely, to follow Marx's presentation throughout the 3
volumes means to "reconstruct" the "dialectic" of this
contradictory unit.

In your opinion, why does Marx distinguish between "value-
substance" and "value"?

> If one takes value to be exchange value, or at least
> determined
> by exchange value, then values will not in general be
> proportional to socially necessary labour time
> contents.

Money-value is proportional to socially necessary labor
time; money-value is proportional to labor-value.

Paul: thanks again,

Alejandro Ramos M.