[OPE-L:1993] Re: Re: Aristotle's Economic Thought

JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Wed, 29 Dec 1999 22:36:54 -0500

Re Costas's [OPE-L:1990]:

You seem to think that the proposition that "value materializes in
exchange" causes "problems" for the view that "labour is the source of

What are those problems?

One can hold the position that "labour is the source of value" *and*
argue that value "materializes" in production *or* exchange.

In any event, what do you mean here by "materialization"?

Do all products of human labour, including commodities, have to take a
"material" form?

If by "materialize" you mean the completed process of becoming
then value must, under the commodity-form, "materialize" in exchange
since it is only that that value becomes "realized"

I can't say as I know what Aristotle thought about it, but Marx was
very well aware of the *metamorphosis* of a substance. Indeed, I
think that *metamorphosis* is an important concept for Marx.

When do butterflys materialize? Is it the moment they *fully become*
(in reality; in actuality) butterflys? Or do they exist as a
"substance" beforehand?

Similarly, a fetus is not a child. It will normally become, after a
temporal interval
a child, but there is nothing certain in this process. In this sense,
the "object" is *potential* only: it can only become a person once
and if it is born. This is the case regardless of what the "source"
of the baby is.

I trust I have made myself obscure. Nonetheless, I think that the subject
of how in Marx a "substance" can undergo changes in form in a
qualitative sense is an important subject and not nearly as simple
a one as some opponents of the "value materializes itself in exchange"
perspective recognize.

In solidarity, Jerry

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