[OPE-L:4106] Re: New Quiz and New New Quiz!

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 07:43:20 -0800 (PST)

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Previous message: john ernst: "[OPE-L:4105] Re: Another Sheep"

A reply to Michael P's ope-l 4102.

Alejandro Ramos had written,

"If in 1996 it was necessary 100 hours to produce 1 Kilo of coffee, and in
1997 this is reduced to 90 hours, I cannot see how the labor spent in 1996
(which is the REAL and IRREVERSIBLE SOCIAL cost of coffee in that year) can be
retroactively modified, reduced."

Michael replied: "For Marx, value does not equal the cost of production, but
the cost of
reproduction. The reproduction costs have fallen, therefore so too does the
value of the 1996 vintage coffee."

This is true, Michael. But Alejandro did not deny that a kilo of coffee
produced in 1996 but still hanging around in 1997 will fall in value. (Nor,
as you can see from my ope-l 4096, do I.) He was very precise. He denied
that the "labor spent in 1996 ... can be retroactively modified."

But why is it important to emphasize the obvious, that the labor already spent
can't be retroactively changed? Because simultaneist "Marxist" value theory
denies it. Labor is supposedly the *substance*of value, but the amount of
value created by an hour of labor at different periods of time somehow changes
according to the physical productivity of that labor! Of course, Marx flatly
denies this in the opening pages of _Capital_ I. The simultaneist "Marxists,"
in other words, are measuring value with a rubber ruler. This is what permits
absurdities such as the following: the profit rate is a constant 25%
throughout time, and all surplus-value is ploughed back into production, but
the labor-time value of the capital stock is constant, and total labor-time
value of output is constant. See my ope-l 3254 --- which still has not been
responded to --- for more on this.

Andrew Kliman