[OPE-L:5236] RE: ideal vs real value

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 18:57:32 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

It's good to hear from you again, Ted. Although your comments in
[OPE-L:5233] were directed towards Mike W, I hope he won't mind if I
interject myself into this exchange (no pun intended):

> Wouldn't you say that production is already social because of the
> anticipation? Isn't it true that producers are aware of world
> standards of production TIME and that this is a measure of value
> magnitude in production.

Individual capitalists might be aware _ex ante_ of the standards of
production time in a branch of production *or* they might *not* be.
In any event, they *become* aware, over TIME, what those CHANGING
standards are.

> Further, the overriding social necessity of capitalist production is to
> extract unpaid hours of labor. The goal isn't to produce for the sake of
> consumption , a demand theory of value, but for the sake of production
> through which value gets bigger.

The goal of capitalists is to accumulate *capital*. To accumulate capital,
they realize that the "creation" of value is insufficient, i.e. they must
transform C' into M'.

A few moments in TIME that are important to the process, when viewed
from the perspective of a circuit of capital, that are not part of
the process of production:

a) prior to the beginning of any production period, there must be the
EXCHANGE of money for labour-power. This forms, along with the purchase of
means of production (in the form of constant capital) a precondition for
capitalist production. [M-C]

b) following production [...P...], capitalists must return to the
market as sellers and transform products into commodities thru the
process of EXCHANGE and these commodities must be transformed into MONEY.

c) prior to the onset of the next production period, the capitalist must
again return to the MARKET and exchange M' for labour-power and means of

All of these moments in time are essential to the goal of capital. A
disruption in any part of the circuit of capital affects the ability of
capitalists to accumulate capital.

> 1. SNLT is already social in production and is not isolated and
> thus requiring the market to become social.

Production (like exchange) is, of course, a social activity. Yet, what is
determined to be socially NECESSARY labor time is the outcome not only of
the process of production but the process of circulation as well.

> 2. Sellling is not "the" problem for value production, extraction of unpaid
> labor time is the foremost necessity.

Selling is not "the" problem for value production, but it it is certainly
*a* problem for capitalists.

Of course, one could say that production, and the extraction of unpaid
labour time, is a necessity for capital. But, so is the exchange of money
for labor-power and means of production. So is the exchange of commodities
for money. So is the transformation of surplus-value into capital.

In solidarity, Jerry