[OPE-L:5012] Re: ideal vs real value

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Wed, 14 May 1997 05:45:18 -0700 (PDT)

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Jerry raised the following question;

>The capitalist then transports the beef to the market and discovers that
>the demand for beef, due to a combination of the "mad cow disease" and
>vegetarianism, has dropped to -0-.
>What is the value of the beef now that it doesn't have a use-value and an

Chai-on: The value of beef is zero since the beef is known to be no more
socially useful. The value is lost for the capitalist. It did existed as a
latent value for the capitalist but it is lost as its use-value disappears.
Since the container of value ( usevalue) is cracked, the value is lost.

>In what sense can we say that the labour-time producing the beef was

Chai-on: It was not socially necessary but was assumed to be by the
capitalist who was not informed at that time of the cow-disease. From the
social point of view, the beef had a latent non-value if the beef was
infected. If it was not infected and yet was not demanded for simple fear,
it had a latent value and the value is destroyed or lost for the social

In solidarity,