[OPE-L:4603] Re: Four-cornered triangle

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:03:56 -0800 (PST)

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Alan asked previously:

> (i) do [...] agree that the value of goods are given prior to sale?

To begin with, I thought we were concerned about the value of
*commodities*, not "goods."

For commodities to have value [returning to basics], they _must_ [by
definition] have a use-value and value, including the value-form.

In what sense, then, can we say that goods which do not have a use-value
and, therefore, an exchange-value have a value and can be counted as

Moreover, how can we say with certainty that all potential commodities
will have a use-value prior to having that validated through exchange?

Even if we stipulate that value can not be _created_ in circulation, this
does not mean that value (or, perhaps more precisely, potential value) can
not be "destroyed" or "wasted" if not realized (or "actualized" as value).

I have raised the above objection in various ways before without
response -- unless it is the _assertion_ that value is _only_
redistributed through exchange (rather than redistributed and/or

Why is there such resistance to interpreting the so-called "conservation
principle" in the above manner? My guess is that it is because folks know
that if one holds that value can not become actualized unless by exchange,
then it messes up all of the determinate algebraic equations that so many
want to cling to.

In solidarity, Jerry