[OPE-L:3973] Re: what are values

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 02:29:31 -0800 (PST)

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>Instead of "they exchanged at values," how about "they exchanged in proportion
>to the labor-times needed to reproduce them," or "profits were zero," or
>"compositions of capital were equal"? These are different formulations, but
>they all have in common the notion of values as particular prices (exchange
>ratios). The only question, then, is, how "usual" are such justifications? I
>think that, prior to Morishima, they were usual. But the Morishima
>justification divorces values from exchange completely --- he says that values
>are a technocratic assessment of labor requirements --- and nowadays many
>adherents of the v = vA + L interpretation (such as Gil, Allin, and Paul C.)
>are Morishimists.
>Spurious at best? How about "not 1000recise"?

Not 1000recise. Values are not prices. They are quantities of socially
necessary labour time. Prices can be used to model values if one assumes
that price ratios are proportionate to values, but values are logically
prior since they are defined in abstraction from sale by the expenditure
of human effort.

It would indeed be circular to define values as the prices that would
obtain if goods sold at their values.

One gets into a hopeless confusion as soon as one allows price to enter
into ones definition of value.
Paul Cockshott