[OPE-L:5025] Re: question

riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Thu, 15 May 1997 10:28:33 -0700 (PDT)

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Dear Aijt,

I thank you very much for your answer to my question. I am curious
of others' opiniosn as well.

But now strictly to you: am I right if I say that then, according
to you, the labour time to which commodities are reduced is labour time *as
such* and not capitalist, and only capitalist, labour time? That is: value
is a category pertaining to commodity exchange; abstract labour a category
pertaining to production in general, whatever its social determination?
Being production nothing but embodiment of abstract labour always and
everywhere, if there is a deduction, in the sense that not the whole
produce of labour goes to workers, then we have exploitation. Right?

Moreover, what is the reason why output is not embodying the
contribution of other factors of production. Because labour is the only
human element in production?


At 2:50 -0700 15-05-1997, Ajit Sinha wrote:
>At 01:44 AM 5/14/97 -0700, Riccardo B. wrote:
>>Dear Alls,
>>Paul's 4993 make me pose to all of you this question, if you have some time
>>to waste.
>>Why, according to you, the value of the commodity output is nothing but
>>labour in Marx?
>I have no time to waste, but since you have asked me, I'm going to waste a
>few minutes. I think there are two reasons for reducing commodity values to
>labor-time in Marx:
>(1) To develop a theory of prices, in other words solve Ricardo's first
>modification to LTV problem. However, we do not need labor-values for this
>problem anymore after Sraffa.
>(2) and this is the more important issue for me. Marx's analysis of
>capitalist dynamics is built on his notion of exploitation, which is defined
>in terms of labor-time. The difference between necessary and surplus labor
>is a labor-time measure akin to labor exploitation of the serf in the feudal
>system where the serf works for the landlord gratis. Givn this notion of
>exploitation, labor-time is chosen as the fundamental unit of measure for
>the analysis of capitalism. Therefore, measure of value is labor-time. The
>measure of prices of production is also labor-time. The difference is that
>the ratios of prices of production gives you the exchange ratios of
>commodities when profit rate is equalized, where as labor-value ratios will
>not be the 'correct' exchange-value ratios. Cheers, ajit sinha