[OPE-L:4525] Re: Not Cricket?

A.B.Trigg -Andrew Trig (A.B.Trigg@open.ac.uk)
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 15:09:02 -0800 (PST)

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I would be interested to know where, in your view, the MEL is explained in
Marx's writings? Is it ever developed in the context of the labour
commanded/labour embodied debate with Smith and Ricardo?

In solidarity.

Andrew Trigg.
From: ope-l
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [OPE-L:4511] Re: Not Cricket?
Date: Monday, March 24, 1997 10:12AM

A detail in Riccardo B.'s racconto in ope-l #4498:

Riccardo says:

> Let me summarize: I have nothing against the idea that the
> value of constant capital and the value of labor-power are determined
> (after the tranformation) as the value *represented* (the labour commanded
> in exchange) by these given money quantities of constant capital and
> variable capital.

I think here you are using "value represented" and "labor commanded"
as synonimous but they are not. The Smithian idea of "labor
commanded" implies that a given amount of money is "converted" into
labor-time by means of the wage rate: $/w = "labor commanded" by
this sum of $.

I think that Marx uses a different ratio (despite what Lipietz [1982]
says on p. 77) to do this "conversion". He uses the "monetary
expression of labor (MEL), which differs from the wage rate.

You also say "value represented" but, I think, this is imprecise:
What are you speaking about, money-value or labor-value? They are not
the same, they are opposed aspects of value. The word "value" cannot
be used to designate one or another aspects, conceived in isolation.
In particular, labor-time is NOT "value", but value-substance.
Moreorer, the money for which a commodity is sold can represent an
amount of labor-time which doesnt correspond with the labor-time
contained in this commodity, which is the case you are analysing.

So --if I dont bother you a lot-- I would re-phrase your piece as

I have nothing against the idea that constant capital and
variable capital are determined (after the tranformation) as
the *labor-time represented* by these given money quantities.

Alejandro Ramos