[OPE-L:5820] Re: commodities, money, and value

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Thu, 11 Dec 1997 13:15:04 -0500 (EST)

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Paul C wrote on Thu, 11 Dec:

> > Yet, for a commodity to have value it must possess exchange-value.
> No. The reverse holds. To possess exchange value it must posses value.

For a product of human labour to be a commodity, it must have use-value
and value and that value must come to be expressed via the value-form. To
say that a "commodity" can have value without having exchange value
requires that we divorce the category of "commodity" from money, the
market, circulation, and exchange -- an unacceptable option if we are to
understand in thought the operation of the capitalist mode of production.

> > I.e. money and the value-form are a necessary
> > form of appearance of value in a generalized commodity-producing society.
> Money is a form of appearance or measurement of value, but value must
> preceed money logically, for otherwise there is nothing to measure.

Without money, what is there to measure? It can't be value since the
category of value (and capital) under capitalism necessarily requires
money. E.g. without money, how can we get M - C - M'?

You see the category of value as logically preceding the categories of
the value-form and money. I assert, rather, that all of these categories
are mutually dependent and dialectically related.

> I did not appear in that posting, because that was concerned only with
> value, when it comes to the problem of how society estimates value,
> then one has to discuss money and the changes in the 'value' of money.

Again: your perspective seems to be that first you have value, then you
measure it. That perspective might seem to be consistent with the
standpoint that the magnitude of value is determined in production and
can't be increased or decreased in the process of circulation. As you will
recall, we discussed that issue (in the "ideal vs. real value", etc.
thread) in the Spring.

In solidarity, Jerry