[OPE-L:4685] Re: value vs potential value

Paul Cockshot (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Wed, 9 Apr 1997 03:35:57 -0700 (PDT)

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> Allin has responded in 4645 (1) by proposing that since "most
> 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."
> that Marx meant that the act of exchange proves that labour hasn't been
> wasted upon a non-commodity only for the case of "totally new items".)
> (2) that where Marx does "toy with" the significance of the act, it is
> confusing and inconsistent with what he says most of the time. Ie.,
> response is to dismiss and marginalise Marx's statement.
> Ajit's response is ---"Ditto! Joan Robinson tried to make a bit of hay
> out of it, but it is a dead end road." Ie., forget that statement.
> What about the rest of that consensus that Alan seemed to have
> Alan, Iwao, Alejandro, Paul, Andrew? How do you reconcile your position
> Marx's above statement?

The possibility of demand conditions altering value is ruled out on grounds
of theoretical parsimony. If one allows that prices can vary above and
their values in response to demand, it is both indeterminate and
complicated to say that the value also changes.

We are under no obligation to reconcile our theoretical position with every
statement that Marx made if our concern is to construct a consistent and
realistic theory of value.