[OPE-L:6369] Re: Re: Historical, real and current costs

C. J. Arthur (cjarthur@pavilion.co.uk)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 21:37:29 +0000

Paul C wrote:

>Whilst I agree with Chris that discussing exchange value and price in a
>oneproduct economy is absurd, I think you overstate the case in saying Marx
>explicitly denounces the identification of value with labour time. I think one
>can find passages where he explicitly identifies the two.

I had in mind passages like "Labur creates value but is not itself value'
(Fowkes tr. 142.) I suspect your counterexamples taken in context would
fall within this restriction.

>Surely the point is that he is concerned with examining social relations,
>between people. Exchange value is a relation between people mediated by
>things. Human beings do not enter into social relations with the sun, though
>in religion they may imagine that they do. Thus the sun and other natural
>features of the environment as non participants in social relations are
>of value. This is not to say that they do not set the conditions under which
>people work and as such influence how much labour is required for tasks.
Agreed - but we need to say more about why and how the determination of
value is social and not natural

Chris A