[OPE-L:5279] Re: ideal vs. real value

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 06:22:11 -0700 (PDT)

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Chai-on wrote in [OPE-L:5278]:

Mike W:
> And a Value not locked in contradictory unity with a Use-Value, is
> not a Commodity.

And a "value" not locked in contradictory unity with a use-value is _not
value_ and *therefore* can not be a commodity. I.e. value is
*socially-necessary-labor-time* (which comes to be expressed through the
value-form) and if that "value" is not SNLT, *which presupposes the
category use-value*, then it can not be value.

> Your [Mike W's, JL] definition of commodity seems to revolve around the
> existence of use-value. IMO, however, value is more crucial than the
> use-value to the definition of commodity.

*Both* use-value and value, as well as the value-form, are crucial to the
definition of (and understanding of) commodity under capitalism.

My own opinion (it's too bad Steve K isn't on the list anymore) is that
the de-emphasis of the category of use-value was a response to the
marginalists. I.e. ,*after Marx* (perhaps beginning with Kautsky and
Hilferding), once Marxists were confronted with the marginalist assault,
they too frequently reacted by, in effect, throwing use-value overboard
in an attempt to differentiate their theory from subjectivist theories
of value.

In solidarity, Jerry