[OPE-L:5129] 3-some answers: or other questions?

riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Tue, 27 May 1997 08:40:07 -0700 (PDT)

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Another question:

As I reread Colletti I realised that he saw the (capitalist) general
exchange of commodities as *actually* being at exchange-values (prices
proportional to labour embodied). This is indeed an *immediate* consequence
of the thesis of asbtraction as real hypostatization.

But since commodities in capitalism exchange at, say, prices of production,
we have *two* exchange ratios. Is it meaningful?

I think this is how he looked at the transformation problem. Exchange at
labour values is not one 'law of exchange' amongst others. Is what
capitalism really *is*. Hence, there must be some sense in which in
capitalism actually there are two exchange values.

Now, note that in my approach:

1) the exchange of labour power at its exchange value (wage goods at
values) before production has the logical meaning that the worker enters
within the capitalist process as a process to be constituted as a
*capitalist* process, and thus which is *not yet* capitalist: that is,
logically, capitalism is not taken for granted but is something which has
to be explained; this represents an *actual* feature of capitalism, that
when labour power is sold the worker is *still* 'attached' to the commodity
he has sold, and hence the use value must be extracted from the worker

2) even when prices diverge from values (and thus when wage goods will be
sold and bought at prices), the class *macro* distribution between capital
and the working class is accurately reflected by the rate of exploitation
in (abstract) labour embodied terms. The fact that the capitalist owners of
the wage goods get more or less labour represented in money does not affect
the labour spent by workers, or the labour going back to workers as
embodied in wage goods.

I am sure I leave a lot of questions posed by others to answer.

Is this not fully vindicating Colletti's view, as I reconstruct it?