Re: [OPE-L] The Use-Value & SNLT Question

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Apr 09 2007 - 19:53:04 EDT

Hi Paul C :

Let's start with the following:

"Moreover, the time spent in production counts only in so far as
it is socially necessary for the production of a *use-value*" (Vol 1,
Penguin ed., p. 303, emphasis added).

If the time spent in production, then, does _not_ result in the production
of a *use-value*,  then that time can _not_ be counted as being

If the products which are produced with the intention of being sold
are _not_ sold for lack of a use-value,  then the labor time that went into
the production of those goods has been shown  ex post _not_ to be
socially necessary.

It is _not_ enough for products of a similar type to have been shown
to have a use-value in the past;  each 'generation' of  commodities must
pass the use-value test before the labor time required to create those
commodities is socially validated as necessary.

At issue here (in part) is the essential role of use-value in the
actualization of a commodity's value.  Without use-value, then no value,
no abstract labour, no SNLT, no exchange-value.

In solidarity, Jerry

> This usage overloads the word 'need' or 'necessary' with two distinct
1. necessary under current levels of technology
2. necessary to meet currently available market demand
I suggest that we hold fast to the first meaning, and not confuse it
with the second meaning. The second meaning is so contingent upon things
like the class distribution of income, the current monetary an liquidity
situation etc, that were we to accept it as part of the definition of
value, then value would end up being determined by all sorts of variables
which are alien to the labour theory of value. <

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