[OPE-L:4179] scrap value

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 11:37:10 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]

Alejandro R wrote in [OPE-L:4175]:

> In any case, what
> would be the amout of LABOR TIME objectified in this scrap,
> once it is in Costa Rica? Is it the amount represented by
> the price paid by the capitalist? The "original" labor-time
> had been already transfered to US commodities. If we think
> that the machine is a "waterfall" we should think that,
> actually, it does not contain labor-time, it is a kind of
> "natural force".

The steel or aluminum or whatever embodied within the machinery still has a
(potential) use-value and a value. It's value would be represented by the
labor-time required to currently reproduce the steel (or whatever) minus
the loss in value due to the physical "wear and tear" of the material
itself (consequently new steel would have greater value than older steel
with rust). At some point, the materials would cease to have any re-sale
value when the raw materials cease to have any use-value due to extreme
physical deterioration (or, indeed, might have a negative exchange-value if
the owner of the scrap has to pay money for the disposal of the
materials, e.g. in a landfill). Unlike the "waterfall", the physical
components are products of labor and continue to retain value because as
"scrap" they can serve other purposes (especially now that "recycling" is
more commonplace). There may, however, be a divergence between the value
and exchange-value of these commodities due to special regional and/or
market considerations.

In solidarity, Jerry