Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 12:51:21 EDT

Hi Rakesh

> In short, why should overproduction lead to less labour time
> being allocated to the production of this commodity. More labor time
> (or a greater share of social labor time) could be allocated if the
> market is expanded sufficiently through the reduction of unit values,
> no?

Given a fixed level of demand, overproduction implies a reduction of
social labour time. Your second sentence then drops the assumption of
a fixed level of demand. If both productivity increases and demand
increases then more social labour time could be expended even though
unit values decrease. Is there a problem with this?

> The price mechanism is not one that provides equilibrium through
> negative feedback. Perhaps in a world of simple commodity production
> the price mechanism would work like that. But the capitalist price
> mechanism tends to induce continuous morphological change even as it
> tends to maintain the capitalist organism in homeostatis. And of
> course cybernetics is a flawed metaphor because it thinks away the
> role of real contradiction in capitalist development.

You are right to underline the difference between simple commodity
production and capitalism. In principle, there may be many homeostatic
mechanisms that constitute a totality, some of which may be in real
contradiction to each other (e.g., two teams in a game of tug-o-war),
in which case what unfolds depends on their interaction. Simple
commodity production considered in isolation has a tendency toward


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Jun 24 2004 - 00:00:01 EDT