[OPE-L:5249] RE: ideal vs real value

Michael Williams (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 12:14:48 -0700 (PDT)

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My response to Andrew's long post to Michael L: 3rd and final section

> Andrew K
> Even aspects of _Capital_ that Mike agrees with and indeed emphases would
> to go out the window. For instance, Mike writes on page 138 of his book
> source of the capital which confronts workers in each transaction is the
> result of the previous exploitation of workers." This cannot be the case
> "the market" determines the magnitude of value.

Michael W:
The market is constrained by the total available labour in the economy. But
how much is that? Well its only autonomous expression is in Money. At the
micro level , workers are 'exploited' just so the wage is less than the
value of the commodities produced, and that is a necessary condition of her
capitalist employer's profitability. (Whether this 'exploitation', rather
than the fact that the surplus is allocated iaw the needs of valorisation
and accumulation rather than human need, is the kernel of the political
critique of capitalism is another issue.)

> Andrew K

> But I agree that Marx is focusing on a problem here that concerns form
> appearance, not magnitude. Why, then, are you trying to give an
> quantitative interpretation to a passage that really just concerns form
> appearance, ... The dispute is about
> whether the MAGNITUDE of a commodity's value is determined in production,
> in circulation.

Michael W
Well, I would say because Value is indeed pure form, a dimension. And that
the dispute in which I have been participating is about whether the
*magnitude* of a commodity's value is determined, one-sidedly, in
production , or, systemically, in the circulation of Commodities through
production and exchange.

Of course, it is the case that my remarks may not be strictly a propos,
because they are concerned primarily with what is the case under
capitalism. My working postulate on Marx's own views on these matters is
coloured by my view that there is an unresolved conflict between the
influences of 'English political economy' and 'German idealism' that
persists even into his 'later' work.

Andrew - by all means let Mike deal with your textual findings before
complicating matters with my brief interjections.

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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