[OPE-L:5250] RE: ideal vs real value

Michael Williams (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 14:18:05 -0700 (PDT)

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Hi, good to hear from you.

You wrote:
> IMO, the key idea in your argument is not to isolate production
> exchange so that commodity exchange reveals the magnitude of socially
> necessary labor in a price. Yet, I appreciated your comment in an
> post that the producer anticipates exchange in organizing production.
> Wouldn't you say that production is already social because of the
> anticipation?

Michael W:
Yes I would - but precisely because it is embedded in a *system* of
capitalist generalised commodity circulation. The micro grounding of this
in capitalist subjectivity (ie much more concretely) is that she
pre-commensurates in the light of what she 'sees' going on in the relevant
bits of the system around her.


> Isn't it true that producers are aware of world standards of
> production TIME and that this is a measure of value magnitude in

Michael W:
Very likely. Capitalist pre-commensuration may contingently involve all
kinds of management and accounting tools, industrial espionage and what
all. Much of this is well *described* in the Management Studies literature
on 'world class' companies etc. etc.

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

Michael W:
I agree with Jerry when he points out that valorisation and accumulation
depend on the successful production of output *as commodities*.

> I think of social necessity "for capital"
> as being different from social necessity for human consumption.

Michael W:
So do I. (btw, the imperatives of workers consumption via the purchase of
commodities is also but a distorted an alienated for of the
trans-historical 'social necessity for human consumption'.)

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

Michael W:
As I said above, this is on ongoing dynamic system, not an outcome. The
reason that snlt is 'already' social in production is because that
production is embedded in a Value-form associated system, that is (perhaps
contingently) grounded in universal markets.

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

Michael W:
Extraction of unpaid labour time is possible because the separation of
workers from means of production is continuously reproduced by the
operation of this system.

Stay in touch!

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

Department of Economics Home:
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