From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Jun 15 2006 - 04:12:12 EDT
> I now think I understand what you are actually doing. You are > calculating how many hours a worker has to work to buy a ton > of corn. This is similar to Smiths 'Labour Commanded' view of > value, which was criticised by Ricardo and Marx followed > Ricardo on this. In simple commodity production prices are proportional to labour-values and labour-embodied equals labour-commanded. A dynamic analysis of simple commodity production reveals that it is the out-of-equilibrium mismatches between labour-embodied and labour-commanded that are an essential causal link in the operation of the law of value. That these two measures are identical in equilibrium does not imply a rejection of a labour theory of value. Similarly for the equilibrium of simple reproduction. Although I am no expert on this, I believe Ricardo criticised Smith for not adhering to a labour theory of value. -Ian. --------------- The point is that Smith had an ambiguity between defining the value of corn as the labour required to produce corn or the labour commanded by corn. If there is no 'profit of stock' then the two are the same, but clearly in an economy with capitalist exploitation they differ. Ricardo and marx held firm to the view that labour contained rather than labour commanded was the appropriate definition. Your numerical corn economy examples give a number for the value of corn that is the same as smiths labour commanded. Labour commanded tells you how long a worker has to work to buy a ton of corn with their wages. I am not sure if your method gives Smiths labour commanded in more complex cases.
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