[OPE-L:5801] Re: commodity money

Paul Cockshott (wpc@CS.STRATH.AC.UK)
Fri, 5 Dec 1997 11:33:14 -0000

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Value, as the labour time necessary to produce commodities
is of necessity defined at a given instant of time. As labour
required to produce gold changes so does the value of gold.
Thus all statements about value have to be qualified by the
time at which they applied.

This is quite different from Bailey's argument which derived
value from exchange relations.

To the extent that labour times required to produce things
change slowly, values at one time are correlated with values
at another. Since gold changes its value relatively slowly,
it gave the illusion of being an invariable standard of value,
but no such standard can in fact exist.

> Samuel Bailey (1825): "Value is a relation between *contemporary*
> commodities, because such only admit of being exchanged for each other;
> Paul Cockshott (Dec. 3, 1997, 4:07 am): "Value only has meaning at a
> instant of time."
> Karl Marx (1863?): "[W]hat a fool he is! Is it not a fact that, in the
> process of circulation or the process of reproduction of capital, the
value of
> one period is constantly compared with that of another period, an
> upon which production itself is based?"
> "The relation between the value antecedent to production and the value
> results from it -- capital as antecedent value is capital in contrast to
> profit -- constitutes the all-embracing and decisive factor in the whole
> process of capitalist production. It is not only an independent
expression of
> value as in money, but DYNAMIC VALUE, value which maintains itself in a
> process in which use-value pass through the most varied forms" [caps
> Andrew Kliman