The labor theory of value is indeed preferable to those cumbersome economic mechanisms described by more ‘market/exchange’ driven enthusiasts. For one, it is far simpler than capitalist inspired paradigms where value is presumed guided by the subjective, highly fluctuating assessments of consumers. As a model, it lends itself better to instruction, is much more simpler to use when planning an economy, and helps to justify the sort of ‘top-down’ leadership styles that the Left is so famous for. In fact, it would seem there is but one real objection to the labor theory that bears any consideration - it is wrong, in a ‘painfully obvious’ sort of way. Other than that, it is quite splendid.
Even this trifling issue can be resolved by a sufficiently dedicated cadre of intelligensia. If the cost of a commodity is set by those who can more properly calculate the true ‘labor-value’ of an object or service, and this decision enforced by a sufficiently powerful and coercive state police system, the choice of the consumer becomes irrelevant. That, apparently, is the end result of all this theory in any case.
Now, in grading this ‘analysis’, the instructor of course has a question of his own:
B.S.: If, as proponents of market-exchange theory insist, the CUSTOMER decides what a commodity is
worth by paying this, that, or the other for it, then value as an indication of anything goes out the window.
Doc: Certainly it becomes a very complicated assessment. The task would seem to have Mr. Greenspan somewhat at a loss. Mr. Buffett, of course, is another matter entirely. But I digress.
By the reasoning given for the above assertion:
· Food growing wild would be ‘worth less’ than food grown on a farm. (How could one tell?)
· Old wine is not valuable unless it is ‘monitored’ during the aging process. (Otherwise turning to vinegar, perhaps)
· Money and credit are simply tricks of the capitalist exploiters. (An idea put forth much earlier by Allah; this God predates the more secular version favored by Leftists by over a millennium)
In any case, ‘everything’ is labor, which quite conveniently covers the full spectrum of counterpoints. A stroke of genius, I must say.
The question? Given this version of the ‘labor theory’, in what possible fashion could value be "an indication of anything"? Or does this defenestration of value refer to some other arcane belief system - perhaps one related to the stacking of cards?
One feels that in discarding the nutshell the nut has, most unfortunately, been retained.
P.S. We wait with great anticipation for the offering on "globalization".