[OPE-L:7206] [OPE-L:728] Re: Thought experiment on exchange

Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Tue, 23 Mar 1999 18:13:47 -0500 (EST)

>3) For any given set of exchanges, can we infer the existence of an
>element "common" to the three goods? No, I could define them in such a way
>that they have *nothing in common other than being exchangeable*, and doing
>so would contradict none of the foregoing conditions. Much less, then, can
>it be inferred that exchangeable bundles have a common element "of
>identical magnitude".

Gil, if they had nothing in common, then chance would determine their
exchange ratios, correct? But over time exchange ratios become stable. As
Carchedi points out: "It is this relative stability wich compels us to
presuppose a common thing (abstract labor) whose relative stability (labour
socially necessary) explains the relative stability of the exchange ratios,
of the proportions in which products are exchanged." I find myself unable
to devote real attention to these threads because of how much difficulty I
am having with other things I must finish. So just a quick challenge so I
can stay in the game.