[OPE-L:4725] Re: real wages and the rate of surplus value

Ajit Sinh (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 00:29:56 -0700 (PDT)

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At 07:51 AM 4/8/97 -0700, Jerry Levy wrote:

>> But they can also be expressed as labor magnitudes, independent of money.
>At the risk of being repetitive, let my again suggest that these "labor
>magnitudes" must necessarily within the bourgeois mode of production come
>to be expressed as money magnitudes.
>But, I guess, a fuller discussion of that topic would get us back into a
>discussion of the "single-system" vs. "dual system" interpretations.
>> Now, when you measure them in money a descripancy between the two measures
>> arises. The question is why should the money-measure be preferred over the
>> labor-measure?
>I don't think it's a question of preferring one "measure" over another.
>Rather, [socially-necessary!] labor-time is the substance of value which
>must necessarily come to be expressed as money due to the nature of the
>value and commodity forms.
>> As far
>> parameters of the system, the competitive forces of the system would
>> ensure realization of values at that prices. That's all we need for the
>> limited proposition we are making.
>It's one thing to assume that commodity values are realized (or rather
>ideal values become real/actual values) or to identify the conditions
>under which this might happen. It's quite another thing to assert that
>"the competitive forces of the system would ensure realization of values
>at that prices." I see nothing that would "ensure" this possibility.

I think I understand why I'm not able to get through here. You believe in
the 'market does it' theory of reduction to abstract labor and value
determination. In my opinion, this approach is either quite impotent, to use
a sexual metaphor, in the sense of the category of value having any
analytical power, or it must fall back on some kind of subjective theory of
prices--as Michael Perelman has correctly pointed out. But this is the
question of the basics as Michael Lebowitz has pointed out. So we need to
discuss it, and discuss it step by step. So I ask you and the others on
ope-l who believe in the 'market does it' theory to present their coherent
case first before we prove our general charge. So let us begin with a simple
question: when you say that a commodity, say x has 5 hrs. of labor as its
value, how do you arrive at that particular quantitative valuation in
labor-time units? Cheers, ajit sinha
>In solidarity, Jerry