Re: [OPE-L] Ricardo on the value of manufactured goods, or does the tail wag the dog?

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Tue Apr 12 2005 - 07:59:37 EDT

> The capitalist farmer pays the landlord some money.  The landlord gives
> something in return - access to infra-marginal land.  To reject the idea
> that  the landlord is selling a commodity, especially the producer
> commodity,  labour-power, is perhaps understandable.  The landlord is,
> qua landlord, idle.  She just banks the cheques. But it should not be
> dismissed if the alternative is to allow that landlords can get hold of
> surplus value - they are not capitalists.  How can they do that?

Hi Phil:

How can they do that?

Capitalists receive surplus value in the form of profit.  Capitalists can
then exchange some portion of surplus value (since it takes the money-form)
for  the legal right to use the land land.  What is being sold (or, better
yet,  *leased*) in the case of unimproved land,  are property  rights, not
commodities.   The land can not be a commodity in this case because it is
not a product of  labor.  Even though the land is 'valuable' in a
common-sense use of that term, it does not represent value.  Of course,
every child knows that land (i.e. itself, by itself) has value.  Every child
would be wrong.

(The above also constitutes a reply to Ian's latest, especially the sentence
"We as theorists may be able to define theorists as we like, but the
question I am interested in is what is what money objectively measures/
controls, irrespective of what we think."   The point that I would make in
reply is basically the same as above:  simply because money measures
something does not mean that it represents value. Money comes to measure
wealth in addition to value.)

> Non-dualist approaches have the smallest scope of price value deviations,
> confined to profit surplus value deviations.  They achieve this by
> allowing  produced commodities to have two values.  A commodity is
> produced with one  value and consumed, productively or unproductively,
> with another.  The transfer of surplus value is between supplier and
> customer.  There is non-conservation  of value in circulation at the
> disaggregated level,  but at least the transfers  take place between
> parties that have commodity relations.  I doubt this is the case in other
> approaches.

I doubt that it is the case for all non-dualist approaches.

In solidarity, Jerry

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