Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Wed Jun 09 2004 - 12:19:44 EDT


Hi Ajit

> This is where your story ends, Ian! Once a commodity
> "do(es) not require other commodities as inputs" you
> are in a world of silver pickers on a beach. The value
> theory does not get into any kind of problems without
> conastant capital--no transformation problem, nothing.
> The real bitch is the constant capital, which you are
> assuming away. And without constant capital, you
> cannot think of capitalism.

I am using a very simple case, for the sake of brevity and clarity, to
think about the MELT, actually a special case of the more general
equivalence relation that Krause develops. The narrow point I wanted
to talk about was the construction and meaning of the MELT and the
necessity (or otherwise) for money in the measurement of abstract
labour. Why do you think constant capital is essential to that
question, right at the very beginning? Should I therefore assume that
you accept what I have written, but that it has no significance due to
the simplifications?

> By the way, a basic commodity means that it is
> directly or indirectly an input in the production of
> all commodities. So you must mean non-basic in your
> above quote.

Yes you are quite right.

> Below you mention Ulrich Krause. I think Krause is the
> only serious book I have come across on this kind of
> issue. As a matter of fact, in my entry on ´┐ŻLabour
> Theory of Value´┐Ż, Readers Guide to Social Sciences,
> (ed.) Jonathan Michie, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers,
> London, 2001. Also reprinted in Encyclopedia of Social
> Sciences (2002) by the same publisher, I have selected
> Krause among the ten important publications I have
> discussed there on the issue. Cheers, ajit sinha

I agree -- Krause's book is a tour-de-force of static analysis. But
his definition of labour value deserves closer scrutiny, and although
he understands the importance of the coordination of social labour, he
does not enter into a discussion of the mechanism of coordination and
how that functions over time.

-Ian.


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