: : The other approach is the market-exchange theory. According to this theory, value is not inherent in objects, but is a product of many different consumer judgments. According to market-exchange theories, value depends upon people’s desires: the more they esteem an object and are willing to trade for it, the more it is worth. This theory is the basis of free-market capitalism, which Marx bitterly opposed.
: Right, but lets examine this idea: I walk into a shop, I see a bottle of whiskey. How much do I want to pay? Nothing. Thats right, as a rational consumer, I want it for free. That is a constant for all consumer desire on all products. I can't have it for free, though. Imagine the exchange.
: Me: I'd like to have that whiskey for nowt.
: Shop-bloke: But it cost me £15.
Don: But the question is how much you are *willing* you pay for it, not how much you would *like* to pay for it. If no one is willing to pay 15 pounds for it, then the shop block will have to lower his price (or perhaps drink the whisky himself). He may take a loss, but he won't restock that item. Not at the previous price, anyhow. And the same is true for all the other store owners who can't sell the overpriced whisky. So the people who distile the whisky are going to have to lower their cost--or stop selling it.
: The base line for shop-bloke is the amount he paid for it, which is in turn set by the amount the whole-sailer paid for it, in turn set by the production costs. To focus on desire is eroneous, because it focusses on the end of the production process, and not on, say, the whole-saler, whose desire (use-value) for the commodity is nil, except as potential exchange value.
Don: If there is no desire to purchase the whisky at a price that allows the store owner to make a profit, he may have to sell it at a loss--this happens, because the consumer sets the value. Things that can be sold for a profit are not on the market long . . .