[OPE-L:25] [OPE-L:247] Re: Re: Re: Chapter 1

Thu, 29 Oct 1998 10:11:07 +0000

>Just so that I am not misunderstood, my point has been that to consider
>exchange as a relation satisfying the conditions of an equivalence class is
>not self-obvious, and indeed seems unnecessarily restrictive. I do not
>want to be interpreted as saying that exchange should be characterized by
>the relation of "indifference". That doesn't make any sense. But
>obviously many Marxists want to see exchange characterized by the relation
>of equality, which brings us into the realm of a third substance, different
>from each commodity, but common to both (abstract labor).
>OK, but (a) why put that structure on exchange and not some other?, or (b)
>what economic laws push us towards equality being conceived as an exchange?
>(it can't LTV propositions of values relations to prices because those can
>and are shown independent of the assumption of exchange as an equality.)

I am saying something slightly different. I am saying that the metric behind
the equivalence sets of commodity bundles is one that is characteristic
of a scalar conservation law. In principle one could have other metrics
that would impose an ordering on the equivalence sets, a Euclidean one
for example, but these would be incompatible with a consistent
system of commodity exchange.
Paul Cockshott Dept Computer Science University of Glasgow