[OPE-L:5052] Value form analysis

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Fri, 16 May 1997 20:13:52 -0700 (PDT)

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Replies to Riccardo Bellofiore and Mike williams,

1. Riccardo asked, "Any examples?" to my argument: In value form analysis,
the mag. of value can be increased by the act of exchange. This is a big
difference from the Jerry's IMO.

Chai-on: Mr A sold his product at $10 in the morning and yet sold the
same product at $12 at noon even with no change in the production
conditions. In value form analysis, it is seen as an increase of the
value-mag. But, in mine, it is an increase of the deviation between price
and value.

2. To my question about the intersection between Pr and Ex, Mike replied "I
think I introduced it into the discussion, and it is a bit vague (meamaxima
culpa). Day and night do not (even discounting the fuzziness of dawn and
dusk) 'intersect'. They touch. However, I do not need this bit of vague
terminology, being happy with the precise notion that Value is constituted
in the contradictory unity of production and exchange that is Commodity
circulation. How's that?",
and Riccardo aided his side saying "Much clearer. Thanks".

Chai-on: Why not commodity production instead of commodity exchange? For
two reasons, I prefer the commodity production. First, irreproducible goods
(lands, works of art, curios, etc.) also belong to the commodity
circulation but they do not to the commodity production. Second, there is a
big difference between potential value and possible (or ideal) value. A
Grape tree of 2 years age cannot bear any grape fruit and yet it is
nevertheless seen as having potential grapes. This is the exact meaning of
the potentiality. In the potential value, its realization as a value
depends on the inner nature of the value itself. But, in the possible
value, the realization rests on the external circumstance of exchange. The
word, the commodity itself is also constituted already in the unity of pro.
and ex.

3. Riccardo quotes Michel de Vroey, p. 177:
>"In this interpretation, the concept of value points to an *articulation*
>of production and circulation. Exchange creates value but production
>the magnitude of value."
>In the footnote: "Furthermore, the existence of value is an instantaneous
>confined to the moment of exchange"

Chai-on: If then, do you think that the social substance to which we
attribute the commodity value s is simply an instantaneous reality?

4. Riccardo said, "From here I find a little problematic to say that
exchange creates more or less value than in production because value is
created only in exchange".

Chai-on: The problem you felt is a very good thread for moving
forward. Think more about abstract labor itself, which the trick Colletti
et al exploited for the rejection of Marx.

5. Riccardo raised excellent questions, "But how since
>there is Mike W's problem (a good problem!) that direct labours before
>actual exchange are not homogeneous?" "I think the problem must be first
tackled discussing what nature has the labour which is the substance of

Chai-on: Because of that question, I spent one year to write on it as a
part of my PhD thesis. I rested on Marx's explanation of abstract labor in
his Grundrisse (pp. 104-105, Penguin editions). I wrote my own in my thesis
over 30 pages, which is summarized over 5 pages in my CJE paper (1993, pp

6. Riccardo comments my statement of the following:

>>Dear Fred Mosely,
>>Your discussion in the latest post on production and realization was
>>somewhat aberrant from the line. The issue at the moment is not about the
>>realization but the determination. Some listmembers argue the magnitude of
>>value is determined even after the production. The realization issue is not
>>questioning the determination of value in the production sphere.

>No, the point is if the magbitude of value is determined before production.
>I guessed that for Marx the answer was: yes.
>I also guessed that for Marx the answer was: no.

Chai-on: My answer, too is both yes and no. Yes, because the value must
act as a guide light for the behavior of commodity producers. No, because
value changes eg. revolution in value, moral depreciation, etc. are
originated from the production condition.

7. Riccardo continues,

>Hence the questions: is this an accurate picture of Marx's position? if
>yes, is there here a logical flaw? if yes, is there some solution
>compatible with Marx to get out from what I see as a difficulty?

Chai-on: there is no logical flaw. What flaw do you find out?

With Regards,