[OPE-L:4860] Re: Four-cornered triangle

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Thu, 24 Apr 1997 06:29:31 -0700 (PDT)

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A reply to Michael Lebowitz's ope-l 4855:

Well, I jumped thru the quotation-reconciling hoop, Mike, now it's your turn.
You write:

"I don't think Marx is saying that once money exists (and commodities are
measured in it) that a product is a
value at the very point of its production (without our knowing if indeed it is
a use-value). The equating of products of labour that converts them into
commodities is when they are equated "in fact", ie, in actual exchange (181).
I think his statement on p.179 that I quoted is inherent in the definition of
the commodity; and, what he proceeds to do subsequently in the
chapter is to demonstrate the necessity of the money-form."

Since this is Passover, 4 questions:

(a) What, then, *is* the difference between x commodity A = y commodity B
and x use-value A = y use-value B?

(b) How do you reconcile your interpretation with the passage (Capital I, p.
166 of the Vintage ed.) that reads

"This division of the product of labour into a useful thing and a thing
possessing value appears in practive only when exchange has already acquired a
sufficient extention and importance to allow useful things to be produced for
the purpose of being exchanged, so that THEIR CHARACTER AS VALUES HAS ALREADY

(c) A two-parter. If, according to Marx, exchange turns products of labor
into values, then why does he write that

(i) the "consumption [of labor-power] is therefore itself an objectification
of labour, hence a creation of value"? (p. 270)

(ii) "what happens there [in circulation] is only an introduction to the
valorization process, which is ENTIRELY CONFINED TO THE SPHERE OF PRODUCTION"?
(p. 302, emphases added)

(d) Finally, since you indicate your agreement with Jerry, where is the
textual evidence that Marx distinguished C' as "potential" value from M' as
"actual" value?

(Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrating the Hebrews' liberation from slavery
in ancient Egypt. Traditionally, 4 questions are asked at a certain point in
a meal-time service on the 1st evening of the holiday.)

Andrew Kliman