Re: [OPE] value-form theory redux

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Sat Mar 14 2009 - 07:11:32 EDT

> What VFT claims is that the value of commodities necessarily comes to
> be *expressed* through the price-form.

This reply will be concise so that we can clearly identify the
substantiative difference. I make the following claims, stop at the
claim you think there is a real disagreement with VFT.

1. (Definition) 'Economic value' in general is a property that
use-values have in societies. It is the property of commensurability,
i.e. which allows the agents of the social system to quantitatively
compare different use-values.

2. Political economy uncovered the basis for economic value as labour
('socially equalized labour' if you prefer Rubin's formulation). The
agents may have their own, possibly multiple, system of accounts of
commensurable use-values. The implication from political economy is that
these systems will be linked to an underlying system of account in terms
of labour. Hence there is no 'single system', but possibly multiple systems.

3. When use-values are products for exchange, i.e. commodities, systems
of account in terms of credits and debts are established. Subsequently,
accounting takes the form of price, i.e. in units of a universal
equivalent, which historically seems to have been established by the state.

4. Prices are not the only 'form of expression' of economic value.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Sat Mar 14 07:15:01 2009

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