[OPE-L:4686] Re: value vs potential value

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 9 Apr 1997 06:13:04 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:4685]:

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

Your statement of "theoretical parsimony" seems to suggest that the two
positions are equivalent and that one, therefore, selects the position
which is simpler. We can see that this is _not_ the case if we examine the
meaning of the so-called "conservation principle." According to that
principle, which at least some on this list who believe that the magnitude
of value is determined in production adhere to, once value has been
created in production its *aggregate* magnitude can not be altered in
exchange so that value can _only be_ *redistributed*. If one, on the other
hand, stipulates that while value can not be independently created in
exchange but that for potential commodities to have value they must
have *use-value* and that this is validated in exchange, then there can be
a *decrease* in aggregate value over what we might expect had all
potential commodities been sold on the market. Thus, the two perspectives
come-up with different positions on both the determination of value, the
estimation of the magnitude of aggregate value, and the mathematical
"determinancy" of the system.

In solidarity, Jerry