Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 11:51:32 EDT

At 1:04 AM -0700 6/23/04, ajit sinha wrote:
>Fred, Let's cut through the chase. According to you,
>Marx's theory of value boils down to this: Marx
>assumes that commodities have value. Values are
>measured by socially necessary abstract labor. Though
>socially necessary abstract labor cannot be measured
>or observed, but still Marx assumes that it is a real
>thing and commodities have them. And then Marx assumes
>some arbitrary measure for the value of any commodity.

Yes but this allows him to measure the effects of rising productivity
growth over time. Do remember thatthis  was Marx's project: a study
of the effect of the growth of the productive forces on the relations
of production.  A measure that changes with each change in
productivity would not allow him to measure what he was trying to
measure. Marx's former measure is suited to a dynamic analysis;
Sraffa's to a static distributional one.  Even Ricardo would have had
no interest in the standard commodity, as Peach shows.


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