[OPE-L:4650] Re: Four-cornered triangle

Ajit Sinh (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Wed, 2 Apr 1997 23:09:31 -0800 (PST)

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At 11:02 AM 4/2/97 -0800, you wrote:
>On Wed, 2 Apr 1997, Michael A. Lebowitz wrote:
>> How do those who accept the argument that the value of
>> commodities is given before sale reconcile their position
>> with Marx's clear statement in Vol. I, Ch. 2 that
>> coomodities "must stand the test as use-values before they
>> can be realized as values. For the labour expended upon
>> them only counts in so far as it is expended in a form
>> which is useful for others. However, only the act of
>> exchange can prove whether that labour is useful for
>> others, and its product consequently capable of satisfying
>> the needs of others."
>Most commodities most of the time are not totally new items;
>they have shown themselves to be use-values. Given that,
>their value is determined in production. There are places
>where Marx seems to toy with the idea that if a commodity is
>in excess supply then the labour-time that went into making
>it is not fully "socially necessary", and therefore counts
>retrospectively as creating value at a lower rate than if
>supply and demand balanced. But this seems to me confusing,
>and inconsistent with what he says most of the time. Better
>to say that with excess supply a commodity will tend to sell
>at a price below its value, which will then set in motion a
>process of adjustment.
>Allin Cottrell.

Ditto! Joan Robinson tried to make a bit of hay out of it, but it is a dead
end road. Cheers, ajit sinha