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 Post subject: Re: Historical existence of simple commodity production
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:51 am 
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Can we sum up, rather than chasing tails?

SCP a) mode of production, no, agreed by both parties b) a "transition" to capitalism, no, agreed to by both parties c) exists perhaps in certain circumstances, certain conditions, sure, agreed by both parties c) represents what? direct exchange? apparently not; operation of the law of value? not according to SA who argues that the law of value cannot function as the regulating principle of social labor time until such labor time is expressed as a commodity, requiring the dispossession of small producers

d) so what role does SCP play in the development of commodity production, in the development of capitalism? Is it a "guide"? Does it represent a history of the development of the commodity? But how can it, if it does represent a transition to capitalism.


My answer is quite simply that SCP is an exercise in myth-making.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical existence of simple commodity production
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:16 pm 
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a) Marx uses the word 'mode', ie a "way" of production where the means of production are owned by the producers themselves. It's just a word though.
b) agreed, although chronologically its most widespread extent did occur before the advent of capitalism.
c) it can be exchange where money (value form, and thus commodity) has not been fully developed yet (like Marx says in the quote I just gave), for example simple form of value, but I was taking it to mean where the value-form has already become money, ie there is monetary exchange yes. I think Engels though definitely also meant moneyless exchange. Let's say operation of the law of value just means equal exchange according to labour time. And I join the Marx/Engels/Dunaevsky position that that could happen before capitalism. Your alternative would be that exchange proportion happened totally randomly.

And permit me a very naive question; if there was money (ie the equivalent form of value) before capitalism, as we all know there was, how can there be not also value. Is it possible for the value-form to exist without value? (I'm not speaking about surplus-value)

d) SCP basically I think is about pointing out that exchange for a long time did occur according to value. I'm not saying this was invented by Marx (probably Adam Smith). To Adam Smith it seemed that was no longer the case in capitalism (where its by price of production), which lead him to reject LTV for capitalism. Or others say that value then becomes a noumenon, an unprovable, unknowable thing, mere hypothesis. Basically SCP gives a concrete, direct case of the law of value (according to value, not production price), so then perhaps it becomes easier to conceive of it in capitalism, or I think Dunaevsky's point is that we should not be satisfied by stating that total value=total price, but have to trace it by individual sectors.

That was my ramble, probably doesn't make much sense.

Here's the passage of Loria 1895 comment (in Italian) that provoked Engels:
https://archive.org/stream/marxelasuado ... o+vendersi


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 Post subject: Re: Historical existence of simple commodity production
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:44 pm 
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Noa wrote:

And permit me a very naive question; if there was money (ie the equivalent form of value) before capitalism, as we all know there was, how can there be not also value. Is it possible for the value-form to exist without value? (I'm not speaking about surplus-value)

d) SCP basically I think is about pointing out that exchange for a long time did occur according to value. I'm not saying this was invented by Marx (probably Adam Smith). To Adam Smith it seemed that was no longer the case in capitalism (where its by price of production), which lead him to reject LTV for capitalism. Or others say that value then becomes a noumenon, an unprovable, unknowable thing, mere hypothesis. Basically SCP gives a concrete, direct case of the law of value (according to value, not production price), so then perhaps it becomes easier to conceive of it in capitalism, or I think Dunaevsky's point is that we should not be satisfied by stating that total value=total price, but have to trace it by individual sectors.


That's fine. We have our disagreements.

I think you mistake exchange of products with the production of commodities; with production for exchange. That's one.

For two, there does not exist a society organized for "selling in order to buy" without and opposed to "buying in order to sell." Defies the very notion of exchange, and ignores the fact that the commodity develops in opposition to direct exchange; the commodity is a mediated exchange. Until the producer can be dispossessed from the means of subsistence; until the laborer can be separated from the conditions of labor, we get commodity production "at the fringes" so to speak, as derivative from surplus, and the surplus derivative of subsistence. Surplus is not surplus value; is not constituted as value at all. Only when all of production has to be thrown into the process of exchange to extract the reproduction of the laborer, do we move to value as regulating the social labor.

That is (temporarily) my last word on it. You get yours. And we'll wait to the issue becomes germane again.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical existence of simple commodity production
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:08 am 
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Well the claim is not that in SCP value regulates the social labour, ie all of social labour, because as you put it exchange happens only at the fringes, only for a relatively small surplus product. So the claim is just that it (the law of value) applies in SCP only for the commodities (let's take only those exchanged for the fully developed value-form, money), not to products, consumed within the household, not marketed, not having attained even the simple form of value. In capitalism all production happens for money, so then yes if you want to say "value regulates the social labor", this is just stating a self-evident tautological definition.

As a reminder, the Marx-passage that Engels quoted;

Quote:
Apart from the domination of prices and price movement by the law of value, it is quite appropriate to regard the values of commodities as not only theoretically but also historically prius to the prices of production. This applies to conditions in which the labourer owns his means of production, and this is the condition of the land-owning farmer living off his own labour and the craftsman, in the ancient as well as in the modern world. This agrees also with the view we expressed previously that the evolution of products into commodities arises through exchange between different communities, not between the members of the same community. It holds not only for this primitive condition, but also for subsequent conditions, based on slavery and serfdom, and for the guild organisation of handicrafts, so long as the means of production involved in each branch of production can be transferred from one sphere to another only with difficulty and therefore the various spheres of production are related to one another, within certain limits, as foreign countries or communist communities.


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