RE: [OPE] value-form theory redux

Date: Sat Mar 14 2009 - 20:47:59 EDT

> Good, we are getting to the core of the issue. First, let me clarify my
> statement (1), since it seems like Philip misread it. I claim that
> 'economic value' is a property that use-values *acquire* in societies.
Dave Z:
Value, like use-value, is an attribute of commodities; value is not an
attribute of use-values.

> Now I wrote that 'economic value' is the property of commensurability.
Value is an expression of specific social relations of production, not
merely commensurability.

> Do you deny that human beings are capable of quantitatively comparing
> use-values outside of generalized commodity production and exchange?

They are capable of comparing, although not necessarily quantifying with
any precision, utilities. See Howard's comment. I think Michael W may have
been on to something when he suggested that use-value is a specific historical
form of (the trans-historical category of) utility. I.e. use-VALUE and
exchange-VALUE are associated with VALUE and all three are associated
with and form constituent aspects of COMMODITIES. It is for this reason
that the quantity of value can't be completely separated from the actualization of
value since for a commodity to have value it must have use-value. Without
use-value, no value or exchange-value. One might argue that value is
already fully formed in the process of production and that a given type
of commodity can then be assumed to have a use-value based on historical
experience, including past demand. But, this misses the point. Just as
every baby must draw his or first breath when he or she comes into the
world for us to say that this is fully a human being, so too each
commodity must pass the 'test' of exchange to determine whether that
commodity actually has use-value. Those capitalists who ignore this
aspect of commodities do so at their peril!
in solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Sat Mar 14 20:49:55 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 31 2009 - 00:00:03 EDT