- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, UK ) on November 01, 1999 at 14:28:45:

In Reply to: Po posted by Gee on October 29, 1999 at 19:50:42:

: What a refreshing pleasure to hear from you again, even it on a sucject I *deliberately* bought it up again.

In fact, wasn't that simply a re-post of a previous message, the words seem eerily familiar...

: Yes (dead labor) I do understand how it is positioned - and how this leads to the ratio of tool-person changing with more and more tech, which should decrease average wages and numbers of employed - but which hasnt.

It has round here, though- thousands were employed in Steel Mills, ship-yards and Chemical works on Teeside, now british Steel Redcar is Run by Four Blookes and their Dog "Charlie". Look at the clothing Industry.

: Its useful to look at what the wholesaler has a use-value for other stuff and hence why he seeks to trade other stuff for it. Its only interesting if there is a use-value for it - its only valuable when there is a use-value and when something can be exchanged (the realization of that value in terms of exchange-value)

I agree, but the whole-saler must set a price for it, he is only concerned with making more money - that, and that alone is his sole use-value. he has no "desire" for the product.

: On the widget example - the price of Aluminium is derived by the degree to which all the players in the market have use-value and exchangable value for it. Alumium may be 'too expensive' for widget A because the folks making widget B find it so darned useful they exchange that much more for it - so the 'price' is higher. Still exchange value driven by perceived use-value ~ 'desire' rather than an adding up of labor.

But that does not counter Von mises' point, which is that we cannot rationally copntrol our oproduction, people might well have a desire for something which is economically scarce. Use-values, also, are infinite, I can use a bible to stand on to reach teh top shelf, for reading, for study, or as a bizarre aid to masturbation- I cannot compare use-value between one commodity and another - this was the problem of barter, that you were stuck with specific use-values, exchange value was invented to get away from such specificity, it universalised exchange values, and there is only one universal property....
Let me ask this: what is your metric? What are you <>measuring desire in terms of?

: Right, now you can see that labor-force value can only be tacked on post exchange - and that the same work can take many values dependant upon 'desire' and not *dependant* upon adding up labor.

No, they can take many *prices*, but the value remains the same, specifically if we average it out across teh broad economy- but you are right, exchange realises the exchange value added by the worker, but there would have been no exchange without teh labour of the worker - If I had a pile of aluminium, wood and rubber, it would have the total exchange value of its components, if I turn it into a widget, then its value is greater than the sum of its parts, I have added value.

: The value, in the above, remains forever an unrealised concept. If it cost 1$ what does anyone care the 'value' may or may not be.

Indeed, Marx says in teh grundrisse that value is the point at which the good is almost never sold - the point of value, though, is that it is inherent in the logic of the market, and inherent in the pricing process.

: Land, without labor applied, cannot derive its value from labor - its only when poeple build houses (my point) at which point a strict interpretation of LTV furnishes the worker with more $ than a miserable backdrop - because the additional money would only go the rotten capitalists if the worker didnt get it.

It can if it is productive land, like a coal seem or a corn field, housing land only gains value when it is ear-marked for building (given permission), etc.

: You certainly argue your case very well, and do so without offering book titles as maginal cure-ll incantations, but refutation requires that no other possible interpretation is possible - and I would contest (Hell, lets not cliam glory - hundreds of economists do contest it)

But I have not yet heard any solid refutation of the basic premises- that money must express a metric of comparison, and that labour is the only universal point of comparison within commodities.

p.s. many economists talk utter bollocks, came across one last year said high home-ownership caused unemployment! Daft bugger.

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