Re: (OPE-L) Re: Unproductive Labour

From: Phil Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Sat Nov 29 2003 - 08:13:06 EST

>  >In view of this, why should I read Volume III?
>>Because a large part of volume III is devoted to looking at
>>the circumstances in which the price value identity assumption
>>is relaxed.
>My reply to Jerry covers this issue.
>Paul not really.
>Jerry's example is concerned with random variations around a mean,
>in vol III Marx deals with systematic movements of means.
>However I don't quite understand your position in reply to
>  Then the embodied labour values of the three bottles
>are, respectively, 1.29 hours, 1.69 hours and 0.79 hours.
>To put it another way, during our walk dollars are being spent on a
>wide variety of products.  Whatever product is bought the buyer
>receives 1 hour of embodied labour value for every dollar spent.  This
>is what I understand the idea of money as a universal equivalent to
>mean -- equal exchange.
>This implies that the amount of embodied labour in the bottles,
>produced under identical conditions differs. You establish
>exchange as the condition of determination of embodied labour,
>and in the process reduce the notion of embodied labour to an
>absurdity since it no longer has anything at all to do with
>the labour process. One might as well say money measures
>embodied marshmallows?


Marx introduces the idea of a 'quantitative incongruity between price
and magnitude of value' in CI ch. 3 p. 196 in the Pelican.  His
argument might be summarized as follows:  price expresses the value
of a commodity but price does not express the value of a commodity.
This incoherence apart, the passage is of great interest for a
non-deterministic approach to value theory.  We are dealing with 'a
mode of production whose laws can only assert themselves as blindly
operating averages between constant irregularities' (ibid).

Maintaining the equality of absolute price and embodied labor value
pushes the incongruity back into the valorization process.  Value
created as recognized by price (relative value created) is not,
except by chance, equal to labor-power expended, as recognized by
money wages (relative labor-power value).  Valorization is a
stochastic process.

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