[OPE-L:1909] value-form theories

Subject: [OPE-L:1909] value-form theories
From: C. J. Arthur (cjarthur@pavilion.co.uk)
Date: Sun Dec 12 1999 - 15:20:01 EST

Re Nicky's [1893]
>I might be wrong, but i read Chris as saying that value takes on different
>appearances (according to which moment of the circuit we are looking at),
>so he does not endorse R&W's argument that 'money is the sole existence of
>value'. Fred's formula would *not be endorsed* for the same reason - money
>is only one level of the logic of value.
1. I have indeed endorsed Fred's formula, while raisingthe question: where
does it come from?
As to th problem of money - this is the quantitative from of value par
excellence, because the value of Cs are quantified in it, and because in
the circuit of capital it is the form in which the increment of value may
be assessed, albeit capital also exists as production captal and comodity

>I don't think that Chris would go along with the R&W concept of value as
>'pure transcendental form'[p.65]; he would probably see this as an empty
>abstraction. If i understand it, value only exists as a practical reality
>when it becomes grounded in a material referent in a fully developed
>capitalist totality (this is Chris's 'real abstraction through exchange).
2. I don't like the term 'transcendental' because it has Kantian
associations. Howevr, if we ignore capital and just consider simple
circulation then value could be called 'pure transcendental form,'
concretised in money. (I seem to remember A. Sohn-Rethel says this ,
explicitly associating it with Kantianism.)
The reason why the value form is 'transcendent' is that products do not as
a result of the development of their own concept express themselves in such
a form. Rather the manifold of use-values is homogenised a priori by their
subsumption under the category of value. Value form is 'pure' in the sense
that anything and everything can be inscribed in it. Exchange is granted a
law, however, only when value is grounded in its form-determined
production. And this means value now inhabits a specific content, the
elements of production.

>Re ideal vs real, If commodities are implicitly values (as I think they
>must be in the VF theories we are discussing) then money cannot actualise
>value unless it is 'money as capital'. Correct me if i'm mistaken Chris,
>but this is the point you made in your last post.
3. Yes. Cf. Marx: "In money as such exchange value has only a negative,
transitory or illusory form... As soon as money is posited as value which
maintains itself through circulaton then it is no longer money but is
capital." Gr. 259 referring back to 233-35.

P. S. Please note that I have a new Email address,
but the old one will also run until next summer. (To be doubly sure load both!)

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