Re: [OPE] "lies, damned lies, and underconsumptionist statistics"

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Tue Sep 28 2010 - 03:32:18 EDT

When Paula said value could be lodged in money, that is fair enough when talking of gold or silver coin. But if value is abstract socially necessary labour, how can this be lodged in a magnetic record in a bank's computers?
WHat is lodged in the record is not value but the power, as Smith put it, to command labour.
Money is information about claims to social power. Ownership of value, always embodied in something physical like a tankerload of oil, can be negotiated for this social power if the oil is sold, but it is important to distinguish between value and social power. Exchange value arises from a tripartite relation between independent producers and nature. The social power that is money arises from a tripart relation between taxpayers, the state, and suppliers to the state.

--- original message ---
From: "Paula" <>
Subject: Re: [OPE] "lies, damned lies, and underconsumptionist statistics"
Date: 27th September 2010
Time: 11:49:11 pm

Dave wrote:
> I'm not quite sure what you have taken as 'physicalist theory of value'
> but the implication is mistaken. Servces are as just as physical as
> goods.

I wonder if mine is a 'physicalist theory of value'. On the one hand, I
agree with Dave that services are just as physical as goods. On the other
hand, as a 'physicalist', I'd say that everything in economic life and in
the universe as a whole is physical.

And I don't recognize my own views in Jurriaan's argument that the
"physicalist theory of value argues that value is lodged in physical goods
only". What I would say is that value is CREATED only in the process of
producing physical goods for market exchange. Value can then change its form
and be LODGED in, for example, money.

Traditionally, Marxists have argued that service sectors such as banking,
insurance, real estate, do not produce value (though of course they have a
physical existence). Why do we get so confused when it comes to other
service sectors?


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