[OPE-L:5449] Re: PAUL C] Re:Luxuries in the New Solu

Wed, 10 Sep 1997 05:54:00 -0700 (PDT)

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Some short comments on Paul C's ope-l 5448.

Paul wrote:

> According to M labour to be productive of value must be socially necessary
> in the sense of being performed under the best available technical
> conditions.

"The labor-time socially necessary is that required to produce an
article under NORMAL conditions of production, and with the AVERAGE
degree of skill and intensity prevalent at the time", Capital I, p.
39, Intl. (emphases added)

So, labor productive of value IS NOT performed "under de *best*
available technical conditions", as Paul says, but under the NORMAL,
or AVERAGE conditions, which include "best", "average" and "worst"

> In the example you gave there were two production processes
> available
> 1. Do nothing with the grain, leave it in store for a year.
> 2. Plant it under conditions which would ensure a net negative product.
> Clearly process 2 is dominated by process 1, and can not count
> as the best available technical condition - thus not socially necessary
> thus not productive of value but consumptive thereof.

As far as I remember the example, "process 1." was not "available",
as Paul says. Corn was planted as usual, using some "normal
technique" but some "bugs" -- I dont remember well-- destroyed part
of the harvest. Capitalists have not a perfect knowdledge of their
future when "drawing their function of production". The idea of a
"production function" with perfect knowdledge of the future is simply
an absurd.

It seems to me that the result of "negative values" because there
is a negative net product is quite unconvincing. If some disease
destroy the 950f the Scottish barley harvest (and barley net
product is negative) what we will have is that the socially necessary
labor time to produce one unit of barley will rise a lot. So, what
we will see is that barley unit value is **increasing** and, in the
market, barley (and probably whisky!!) price will also rise, even
speculatively, that is more than the rise in its value.

But nothing of this seems to happen in the value calculation Paul
is suggesting. On the contrary, barley value would fall beyond
zero, to negative magnitudes! So, when one can guess rising values
and prices because there is a very bad harvest, this calculation
obtains "negative values". I cant make sense of this and, I think,
there is something wrong in this way for calculating values.

Alejandro R.