Re: [OPE] Reply to critics

From: Ian Wright <>
Date: Wed Oct 13 2010 - 18:55:40 EDT

Hi Paula

Apologies that I haven't had the time to respond to you yet. But this
specific issue is pivotal, and I can quickly comment.

>> If labour productivity in the production
>> of a good would rise, do you agree that the quantity of embodied labour
>> in *already* produced goods would fall? Why so?
> The particular amount of labor already embodied in goods can't possibly
> fall, but the socially-average labor time needed to produce them can.

For Marx, that labor embodied in those goods *does* fall. I can
provide quotations if you wish. But you hold that the labor embodied
"can't possibly fall" because you interpret "embodied" to mean there
is a "physical substance" that is literally "in the body" of the
commodity. But this is a Physiocratic notion, which Marx critiqued in
TSV. This is why Marx stresses that the labor embodied in commodities
has a "purely social reality", since labor-embodied is a property of a
commodity in the context of a given productivity of labor and social
practice of commodity production.

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Received on Wed Oct 13 18:57:14 2010

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