Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 04:22:09 EDT

Fred wrote 

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Fred Moseley
Sent: 11 June 2004 04:10
Subject: Re: measurement of abstract labor

Ajit, I thought we have been having a pretty good discussion, but I find
your latest response mostly bluster.

You asked me how do I measure the L in Marx's labor theory of value?
I answered that the total current labor-time is taken as given,
adjustments for different skills and unequal intensities.

Then you asked how do I EMPIRICALLY MEASURE the L in Marx's theory.
And I answered that, one CANNOT EMPIRICALLY MEASURE the L in Marx's
theory, because that L is a SOCIAL AVERAGE, socially necessary
not actual labor-times that are observable.

Paul C
Fred what is wrong with just adding up all the actual labour time
across society.
Since you are integrating over the social totality what you will get
is bound to be the average socially necessary. Of course foreign trade
complicates things, but that complicates things in theory as well.
The total hours worked by society must be the total socially necessary
time done by society - there is no hidden time to skew the average.

One may of course discuss whether certain activities are necessary to
society and decide to exclude them from the total, but these exclusions
are done both in theory and in your empirical measure as well so they
cancel out.

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