Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 01 2007 - 22:20:26 EST


>> Prices are 'a' in the sense of one possible, of the necessary
>> modes of expression of value.


> That's a  non-sequitur.  If  prices are a _necessary_ mode of
> expression of value then the value of commodities _necessarily_
> comes to be expressed through price.


Then why not say prices are _the_ necessary mode of expression of
value?  The 'a' seems to imply that values need to be expressed
somehow, and prices are one way of doing so, depending on the
social context.  Which is what I believe.

There are various levels here:

1. The labour times required to produce things
2. "Value" (or "labour value")
3. Exchange value
4. Price

Paul and I tend to favour a terminology in which 1 and 2 are just
equivalent: "value" means the labour time required.  Then the
question is: how does value "manifest itself"?  In a
commodity-producing society, where the products are private
property, this will be via exchange value; and in a money-using
society exchange value will in turn be represented by price.
In a planned economy, however, value does not require an
"indirect" representation; it can be calculated based on knowledge
of the direct labour coefficients and the input-output relations.

Allin Cottrell

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