[OPE-L:4537] Duncan's vintages

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 02:55:47 -0800 (PST)

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> > On the contrary, Marx says:
> >
> > Thus the value of a commodity is equally determined by
> > the quantity of *materialised (past)* labour and by the
> > quantity of *living (immediate)* labour required for its
> > production. In other words: the quantities of labour are
> > in no way affected by the *formal difference* of whether
> > the labour is materialised or living, past or present
> > (immediate).
> > Theories, II, p. 399
> But Marx contradicts this idea later in referring to the importance
> of reproduction values.

Thanks Michael!

--Could you please give me the reference you are thinking about?

--I have no doubt that this involves a "contadictory process".
Precisely, the idea is to clarify the nature and the *rationale* of
this contradiction.

--However, it seems to me that "Duncan's vintages" implies some
confusion of labor as concrete labor and labor as abstract labor. In
effect, if we examine labor as concrete labor we see labors of
different productivity ("By productivity of course, we always mean
productivity of concrete useful labour", Capital I, p. 137) which
seem impossible to be aggregated (I think this is Duncan's vision).
But if we examine labor as abstract labor (which IMO means labor
being represented by money) we have the homogeneity between e.g. past
and living labor which Duncan is saying that no exists.

--Additionally, if you apply the idea of the "vintages" given by the
concrete productivity --in my version given in ope-l #4481; I am
not sure that I am interpreting correctly Duncan's proposal-- I
think you cannot explain the *clear passage* of Vol. I, Ch. 1
(Penguin p. 136-7) that I quoted in this post. I think Duncan's idea
is that the aggregation of labors is carried out precisely by means
of their "relative concrete productivities" but this "uses" an aspect
of labor as concrete labor to obtain abstract labor.

This seems opposed to the following: "The same labor, therefore,
performed fo the same length of time, always yields the same amount
of value, independently of any variations in productivity" (Capital
I, p. 137). The differences in productivity provoke a redistribution
of a given amount of labor but do not change the "scale" of this
labor as is objectified as value. Labor having a productivity above
the average DOESNT PRODUCE more value: 1 hour of labor "always yields
the same amount of value". More productive labor IS REPRESENTED IN AN
AMOUNT OF MONEY ABOVE THE AVERAGE, (i.e. has a MEL above the average)
and then the capitalist in question can APPROPRIATE (not PRODUCE)
more value. What do you think about this?

Alejandro Ramos