- Capitalism and Alternatives -

One more time

Posted by: vox on May 24, 1999 at 23:18:53:

In Reply to: having to pay some workers nothing posted by Gee on May 24, 1999 at 17:23:53:

:You persisted with the labor becomes value theory in arguing the 'orange' case. Value is decided by the buyer, if buyer A buys the orage for $1 the worker get $1, but if a buyer were to pay $2 for it then the labor value is $2 despite the labor effort being the same? The same theory would, incidently demand that some workers are paid nothing.

The simple answer, of course, is that the orange would have no exchange-value at all if labor were not applied to it. However, since you persist in misreading Marx, perhaps a direct quote will allow you some understanding.

Price is the money-name of the labour objectified in a commodity. Hence the expression of the equivalence of a commodity with the quantity of money whole name is that commodity’s price is a tautology, just as the expression of the relative value of a commodity is an expression of the equivalence of two commodities. But although price, being the exponent of the magnitude of a commodity’s value, is the exponent of its exchange-ratio with money, it does not follow that the exponent of this exchange-ration is necessarily the exponent of the magnitude of the commodity’s value. Suppose two equal quantities of socially necessary labour are respectively represented by 1 quarter of wheat and $2 (approximately ½ ounce of gold). $2 is the expression in money of the magnitude of the value of the quarter of wheat, or its price. If circumstances now allow this price to be raised to $3, or compel it to be reduced to $1, then although $1 and $3 may be too small or too large to give proper expression to the magnitude of the wheat’s value, they are nevertheless prices of the wheat, for the are, in the first place, the form of its value, i.e. money, and, in the second place, the exponents of its exchange-ratio with money. If the conditions of production, of the productivity o labour, remain constant, the same amount of social labour-time must be expended on the reproduction of a quarter of wheat, both before and after the change in price. This situation is not dependent either on the will of the wheat producer of ton that of the owners of the other commodities. The magnitude of the value of a commodity therefore expressed a necessary relation to social labour-time which is inherent in the process by which its value is created. With the transformation of the magnitude of value into the price this necessary relation appears as the exchange-ration between a single commodity and the money commodity which exists outside it. This relation, however, may express both the magnitude of value of the commodity and the greater of lesser quantity of money for which it can be sold under the given circumstances. The possibility, therefore, of a quantitative incongruity between price and magnitude of value, i.e. the possibility that the price may diverge from the magnitude of value, is inherent in the price-form itself. This is not a defect, but, on the contrary, it makes this form the adequate on for a mode of production whose laws can only assert themselves as blindly operating averages between constant irregularities.

from Capital.

:Such as?.. Marx did like to obscure economics with a great many personal theories about social relations.

Um, you have read Marx, right? The social relations I refer to are the social relations of production. This is so basic to Marx that, since you’re arguing against his philosophy, I assumed you were aware of the societal structure as Marx defined it. Of course, then you wouldn’t be accusing Marx of somehow “obscuring” economics, as if economics somehow existed in a vacuum, and Idealist argument that has less to do with a refutation of Marxian economics than with Materialist philosophy in general.

:Meaningless as the identification of economics by Marx rested upon fallacious derivations, the contradictions do not exist except in marxist writing, although I'd enjoy scrutinising examples.

I posted this link here before, but I doubt you read the essay. I’ll leave it again, however, in case anyone is interested in it. The Marxian Crises Theory.


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