[OPE-L:2059] Re: Re: Socially necessary labour-time

From: Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 10:49:57 EST

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Thanks very much for your comments, Jerry. However, as I have already
stated previously on this list, my concept of a commodity is different from
yours and from a lot of your correspondents.

You write:
 If a product
>fails the test of the market (i.e. if it is not sold), then the
>labour-time expending in producing it can not be SN and thus the product
>does not value value and is, therefore, not a commodity (even if it was
>produced with the intention of sale).

This doesn't necesarily follow in my view. You argue that an object (or
service !) is a commodity only when it is actually sold. I take a wider
definition, i.e. all that is necessary is that it is capable of being sold,
or offered for sale, and treated accordingly. This wider definition takes
care of such things as inventory stocks, partly finished goods which could
be sold, futures contracts, prostitution etc.

Thus, a qualitative change can
>occur whereby a "commodity" that was intended to be sold never fully in
>reality/actuality becomes a commodity and the "value" that was presumed to
>exist after production is shown not to exist.

I think it's more complicated than that. For example, a crate of bananas
may not sell at the predicted price, and be priced down, selling at a lower
price. The bananas are a commodity throughout, up to the point where they
are so rotten they are thrown out (even then they may have a value for
recycling, and be sold as a commodity by the recycler). The exchange-value
realised for the bananas then does not reflect the socially necessary
labour time to produce them originally for display in the shop, but does
reflect some of it.

>Perhaps another "moral-historical component" of SNLT concerns the extent
>to which *class struggle* can change what is considered, in a given
>society, to be SNLT. Thus struggles by workers could result in a change
>in SNLT if their struggles succeeded in changing the *intensity of labor*.

Yes, this is more the type of thing I have in mind. Of course, for me most
of the talk about "class struggle" is hot air. People using this term
usually mean class conflict, but class conflict doesn't automatically mean
class struggle. Class struggle means that a class struggles as a class.
Class conflict may produce struggles, but they aren't necessarily class
struggles. Whether they become class struggles is a political matter.

In solidarity


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