[OPE-L:4866] Re: Four-cornered triangle

Michael Williams (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Thu, 24 Apr 1997 15:29:13 -0700 (PDT)

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Andrew quotes the following against Michael L. 's view (which I share) that
value is not quantitatively determined prior to exchange:
> (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 practice only when exchange has already
acquired a
> sufficient extension and importance to allow useful things to be produced
> the purpose of being exchanged, so that THEIR CHARACTER AS VALUES HAS

If I may jump in, to add my two pennies worth to whatever Michael L. says.
IMO we should read this passage as a whole, and not focus exclusively on
the part that Andrew has 'shouted'. It makes quite clear that products of
labour become commodities only when exchange is ubiquitous, and that it is
only then 'that their character as value etc...'. My gloss on this is that
it is only then that the producers take the character of products as values
into consideration during production. And how do they 'take this into
consideration'? IMO, by precommensuration, which they are able to do
because they can see all around them (in the exchange relations that have
'acquired sufficient extension') the money form of value of all the various
means of production that they have to take into consideration.

What do you think of that, Andrew? (If, as lapsed Catholic, I am permitted
to ask questions in Passover?)

Comradely greetings,

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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