The LTV, educate me

I've been thinking and reading about the labour theory of value recently, and it just hasn't clicked like the rest of Marx's ideas. If value is from the socially-necessary labour time to produce something, what about instances where businesses compete with other prices? Or a devaluation when a piece of technology is considered outdated?

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SNLT like all concepts in Marx is a process and a relation. You have to think of SNLT as a process of averaging, an equilibrium. Price =/= value.
A certain amount of labor goes into producing something, and as that capital ages/is used, the value is averaged out over everything it produces in its lifetime. This is basic Marx.

What about them? Value affects price, but doesn't exactly correspond to it.
Value is a reproduction concept: If some item's socially necessary labor time drops because of an improvement in how to produce them, this is also true for the units produced before the improvement that are still on the shelves.


People who the labour theory of value

Ibn Khaldun
Karl Marx
Adam Smith
Anwar Shaikh
Luigi Pasinetti

It would be a fun game to give libertards various lines and see if they can guess which was written by Karl Marx and which was written by Adam Smith.


Businesses competing will drive down the profit rate to minimum and the labour exploitation to the maximum. Products will sell at snlt price, the companies will realize at best a marginal profit, and the labourers will receive only their reproductive wages. The thing is, changes in technology or random natural events will drive down or up the snlt price for various commodities. And it is as the prices adjust to this reality, before finding a new equilibrium, that all the magic of capitalism does its work.

Say technology pushes the snlt down. Two factories with a thousand workers producing a thousand widgets. One factory installs the new technology. To do this it will have to deploy accumulated capital to purchase the new machine, but let's leave that aside for now. The new factory now an old machine which produces 1 widget per labourer, and new one that does double. The new one can be worked by 100 men - it's experimental still. New output is 200 + 900 widgets, 1100. Now, the extra supply of 100 widgets over the old supply will go unsold. 50 for old factory and 50 for newer one stay in stock. There was only a demand for 2000 widgets. The new factory is now down the input costs for 50 widgets - and so is the old! However, the new factory has managed to sell 1050 widgets, more than before, so it sees it's loss compensated. No such luck for the old factory, which now has a lower rate of profit. It will accumulate capital less rapidly, the newer factory will have more capital to put into newer machines, and eventually supplant the older one.
Now, the old factory can retaliate by selling at a loss. That way, all it's 1000 widgets will sell. But the newer factory just follows suit, and now the old factory is down 50 widgets again, plus the loss it sells at! This means it's capital will accumulate even less rapidly, and the newer factory will supplant it all the faster.
Or, the older factory can try to squeeze wages bellow reproduction value, but then the labourers will stop reproducing, and the labour shortage will make the factories want to pay their labourers more so it's the other factory that stays empty. Again, this advantages the factory with the better technology, and competition drives it.

It's pretty basic shit.

Now, you'll also want to know just how a change in technology might change an snlt. That's simple. Eventually, all factories will have the new 2 widget machines. Maybe demand hog gone up during the bidding war that preceded it, when it was sold at below snlt value. If we assume it has not, there will still only be need for 2000 widgets. Which can now be made by 1000 men working at subsistence wages. The price of 1000 subsistence wage labourers is subtracted from the price of all the widgets we need. The socially necessary labour time for the last step in the production process, absolute and relative, is only half of what it was.

How does LTV account for things like second hand goods costing less, or things like new (i.e unused) graphics cards for years ago that fetch much lower prices than they did originally?

It doesn't. That is exchange value.

It doesn't.

OP, read this

The site demands that you log in. If you already have the pdf, can you post it here?

Okay, so let's say the new factory makes not cheaper, but better widgets. It installs a thousand widget.2 machines. Now there are 100 widget.2s on the market. Lets assume they sell them at the old widget.1 price. 100 lucky buyers will want the widget.2s - it's a better widget at the same price. This makes 100 widget.1s go unsold - we are assuming stable demand for simplicity. Shared by the new and old factory equally. So now the old one sells 950 and has a 50 input loss, while the new one has a 1050 sale at 50 loss. Now assume, to rub it in, new factory decides to sell it's 0.1s at a loss. The customers will want the cheap ones preferentially, meaning new factory sells 1100, but with a loss of 1100Xdiscount. Lower profit rates for all, newer factory and older factory replace machines to only produce 0.2s to capture biggest market share without having to sell at a loss. But at the end of it, all demand will be met with 0.2s at the old price, making the 0.1s - worthless.
Now because demand and price tend to move together within margins, you'll rather see a new market arise for 0.1s at the lower price, the surplus market created by the bidding down of the price on 0.1s.
Snlt here anchors the price of old and new, and the price of old is pushed down because of competition for market share as 0.2s start to take demand that used to be met by 0.1s. But the cheapness of used goods here is a result of new markets for cheaper commodities that are discarded by the users of 0.2s and producers producing at a loss. Note well, though, that at some point making 0.1 becomes utterly unprofitable - as soon as all the old demand is met by the 0.2 product. Every additional 0.1 has to be sold at a loss; people will not buy the inferior product at the price as the a newer one. Yet both require the same snlt. Unless you drive the wage you pay workers at the bench of the old machine bellow subsistence, you will not be able to sell any of those 0.1s. Labour scarcity becomes a thing again.
This is why new consoles cost so much and they stop making the old ones.

I meant here.

Sorry, i forgot we can post pdfs

What is this drivel. Commodities do have prices in the real world, and there are regularities, there are patterns in how commodities are priced relative to each other. Key element in explaining price ratios, though not exactly equal to that, is labor time. In a very primitive society with very few different produced things, people can be conscious of how long it takes to make this or that item. In a society of "independent" producers (meaning legally responsible for their own fate, indifferent to each other, yet dependent on things produced by others to survive) who have to sell their stuff at a price that enables them to get the inputs needed for producing what they produce (also includes getting food) again and again or they vanish, there are limits to what the price ratios of continuously produced things can be. It's not all subjective. And these limits make themselves felt by the losers getting out of business.

So, the critique in that snippet boils down to the author apparently not getting that you can use some terms–measuring, comparing, standard–in a broader sense that doesn't imply that there is a human there consciously doing that activity. The system measures, compares, filters out the losers. He seems to believe that is le fallacy, because he himself doesn't define the words that way, though that broader meaning is clear from the context (and some pisshead even wrote a comment next to that section: "nice critique").

A bit more from that essay:
Pisshead comments: "Very few people notice this…"
In what world do these two guys live that they consider that some profound insight? Hey, did you know that you can resell stuff on Ebay? Only few people notice that.
And reproduction cost is not closely related to labor time?
If something happened which I explicitly say doesn't happen, then that happening would disprove something which I disagree with, and therefore it does disprove it.

Value doesn't actually mean value in this context. LTV is just an analysis of CoP that concludes collecting profit on anything is rent seeking behavior

Would you mind giving some context to your words or are you just shroom-posting?
Canada Olympic Park?

According to Marx value is raw materials. Labor doesn't create value it only transforms materials.

Most Marxists would respond by saying that value and price are different, price reflects exchange value more than use value, blah blah blah.
What you describe is a scenario that is typical of competitive market economies that doesn't happen in a centrally planned economy.

Depreciation actually creates exchange value in a way that is complex but commonly understood in regulated markets.
In a Marxist context, labor power doesn't change when technology or skill improves.

^nonsense post, A. W. tier.

What makes a person write like that? Lack of English skills? Drugs? Both? Marx criticized the slogan that all wealth is created by labor alone (and wealth != value, wealth is meant in the sense of useful things here). Perhaps you meant that. Take a nap, then have a coffee, before you post again.

OP, if that image is on your hard drive, please delete it
Labor is not the source of all wealth

I don't use either drugs or coffee. Go read a book instead of being a conformist memelord.

Labour power creates value. It replenishes itself by creating enough value through working on something, which reproduces the labor spent and creates value through this very activity.

For fucks sake, I have just read WLC and VPP, and I know this. Are you trolling or just stupid?

This is like saying that air guitar creates value.
inb4 expertise is not socially necessary


That bit from Critique of the Gotha Program was exactly what I was thinking about in

Maybe you should. Don't worry, what you write can't get worse.

No. The statement wasn't that any and all human activity always creates value. Your claim is just the mudpie argument.

All I get for my typing is a simple dismissal? You're clearly depriving me of my well-entitled surplus value.

Good post. Have a (You) for effort.

here u go bud

this has to be a troll

read page 3 of chapter 1 of capital

You need to slow down and read. The question is on the relation of substance of value (measure) and its quantity (magnitude) determination.

You clearly just read the highlights and didn't read the whole thing. The problem concerns how you can claim labor-time determines value when every time you do so you have >already< assumed it's been set by a process which is outside production (competition, exchange, etc)?

No. Those are prices, not labor-time. He even makes an example of exactly this point you think you've made.

Your green text here only shows you have some severe cognitive disabilities user.

>In what world do these two guys live that they consider that some profound insight? Hey, did you know that you can resell stuff on Ebay? Only few people notice that.


It's a point about how exchange-value is actually a type of use-value, something the vast majority of Marxists seem to never realize. It's just an interesting thing which grounds the possibility of money right in commodities themselves.

The essay by Bryce Edwards just looks like canards about Marx older than your parents. How many times do you think Marxists have heard this bit of wisdom:
You can take some random bourgsplaining German economist from that time making that statement in some text, with a colleague writing the introduction and highlighting the "finding":
I've had enough of that shit. It's indeed a claim so old hat that Marx himself commented on it in his notes on Adolph Wagner's econ book.

If you actually believe that most Marxists don't know that the option of reselling a thing can be a reason for obtaining it, if you think that this is some remarkable insight that you have here, if you really do believe that, then you are mentally ill.

Why are you double posting?

No one said anything about reselling. The point is just about conceptual categories. Exchange-value >isn't< something different to use value. That's the point.

>Exchange-value >isn't< something different to use value.
Your English isn't very good. Do you mean above in the sense of them being identical? Or do you mean that the concepts overlap? Are you the author of the text or his friend?

The difference between use-value and exchange-value is the difference between two species of the same genus. One use-value is consumption, the other use-value is exchange.

They are both identical, different, and overlap. It's dialectics.

And that is the wisdom that you want to share with the world? That's your criticism of Karl Marx or what? Your criticism of Marxists: Many Marxists don't know that you can exchange things. Fantastic.

That's not a criticism. That's just an interesting point. You really got your feelings hurt by reading over some highlighter text and some comments?

For it to be interesting, it would have to be new information. I don't see how it is new information for most people older than five that a thing not directly useful for yourself or people you care about can still be useful as a bargaining chip. Here is information that you might find interesting: The difference between your mom's shit and you is the difference between two products of the same anus. One poop-value is local, the other poop-value spreads over the internet.

So why is this the only thing you're on about? Is it because your brainlet could not comprehend anything else?

I mean, most of the pdf is historical recounting and pointing out what Marx says and comparing it from early to later Marx, considering what the meaning of value for Marx is and his reasoning for using labor-time.

Are you the author or his friend?

most likely the author. He was spamming this "critique" in all leftist subs and chans a week ago

He's a friend. If it was the author, who goes by the name of A.W here, he'd be smugly posting about how he is such a good dialectician and that nobody understands Hegel.

reread his post nigger

That can't be the case. Not enough Hegel in all of this, can't be A.W. The responder also does not write like the author, so it can't be him. I don't see what difference it makes whether he's a friend or not. If people actually shill youtube videos as sources these days, what's the difference with shilling an essay they like?

You people are too paranoid.

He responded to you

Marxism in a nutshell

People posted a PDF, book recommendations, etc. Do you think having a genuine discussion and explanation of this is actually as simple as you want it to be?

Both use-values and exchange-values are cultural artifacts. There's nothing objective or rational about them, unlike an energy-value, which can be measured.

That shit is ignored for a reason.

I won't click on that. Use archive or pastebin.

And what's the reason?

care to tell us the reason why?

Because value is not determined by anything other than social being and relations. Neither the fact of labor-time nor energy have any conditioning on what I value and how much I value it. In fact, Value itself commands those things. Money commands what labor is done, for what, and under what conditions. Energy itself cannot command money.

But what you pay for something isn't proportional to how you value it. There is a price you would be barely content with paying, let's call that the threshold price, and if the actual price is equal to that or a bit below or far below that, you do pay the actual price. A mass-produced thing has a price, and different people who pay that one price can have very different threshold prices, these values only have in common that they all are ⪬ to the actual price.

And ahem, I actually don't believe that these threshold prices are something that somehow exists inside of us fixed by our genetics. Recall the standard rule-of-thumb assumption about diminishing marginal utility when you consume the same thing again and again. If something gets more cheap, it can happen that I buy it more often, and so I can get less excited about consuming it, so that my threshold price goes down.

On top of that, people have concerns about what constitutes a rip-off that seems quite distinct from the importance of a thing to the user and rather very directly related to the gap between its price and actual production cost.

All these factors suggest the actual prices of things mass-produced in a competitive environment are related to some sort of objective physical cost, don't you think?

No. All that suggests is that all mass things produced are related to an ultimate social reality: the ground of wages which form all costs of production, wages decided by wills in a contract. That these mass agreements ripple and condition the rest of the economy does not make this anything grounded beyond the social sphere.

All prices of production are reduced to the price of labor-power, and said price is grounded in social perception, agreement, and conditions of social norms.

Address the points made or fuck off. Your view is upside-down:
An arbitrary level of wages and prices cannot be willed into existence, my pomo friend. You really sound like A. W. here btw. An employer doesn't have infinite profits, so there is a limit as to what wages can be. The firm must be able to acquire its inputs to continue to exist. Is this really something you need to be told?

You need to learn how to think.

Yeah, limited by other wages by competition, and by money. Money, logically, is infinite. We literally print it and it exists to be the token of recognition of value.

Right, prices of production, which are, guess what? The prices of inputs, which are, guess what? Based on the prices of products of labor or labor-power itself at the logical ground. Which are determined by guess what? Exchange agreement, and the labor-contract, both a completely arbitrary thing which occurs between social agents' perceptions, desires, and needs.

You are presupposing the prices of things are already given. You appeal to already set prices as prices of production, the market having already set things. The market is first set in anarchic agreements, then these first anarchic prices are the basis for the pressure that drives prices down to their ground floor in prices of production. This pressure is empirically nor logically absolute, and counter factors exist which deny its influence.

How do you do that

Please stop using that term if you don't know what it means, it has a very specific meaning in Ricardian and Marxist economics and makes your posts irritating to read. The meaning of the term prices of production is what price ratios would be like if the rate of profit were completely equalized across all sectors. I do not assume that they are.
>Exchange agreement, and the labor-contract, both a completely arbitrary thing
Repeating that without reason doesn't convince me.
And needs have no biologically determined objective minimum whatsoever? And our perceptions and desires are in no way formed by the real world around us? You still haven't addressed the three points in
Nope. Of course Penguin of Doom Corp can come up with prices and wages that are lolsorandom, but they'll go out of business if these prices and wages are not within parameters that allow them to obtain their inputs. What is presupposed by Ricardo-inspired economics before prices of any kind is production as a physical process.

Being this wrong is criminal.

I have some questions.

SNLT produces value, which is reflected in its form of value (money).

Commodities have a double nature: use value and exchange value.

Use value is the utility, the human necessity that a commodity satisfies. Use value is a qualitative relation.

Exchange value reflexes the amount you can exchange, i.e. 2 kg of wood for 1 table. Exchange value is a quantitative relation.

But exchange value and use value are not value. Value is produced by objectified SNLT, that is yo say, not simply an amount of human labour but one that is validated by the market.

Also Marx said that there market prices show that they deviate from value (let's say, direct prices). So final price results from an articulation from production and market. Marx said that market prices are always around values (something demonstrated by Shaikh with empirical data).

Somebody said here that exchange value =! price.

So my questions are:

1. What determines exchange value, that is to say, the exact quantification for an exchange (i.e. 2 kg of wood for a table and not 5 kg of wood for 6 tables)?

2. What determines market prices?

3. What is "price"? Value? Exchange value?

4. Can be say that exchange value = value?


Just go to Wikipedia:
Now just read the first sentence:
And just check the footnote for that sentence, it goes to Volume 3 of Capital. I assure you that cost of production is a term in heavy use among economists inspired by Ricardo, Marx, Sraffa, and it means just what I told you.

D'oh. I meant of course: I assure you that prices of production is a term in heavy use…

Bump for serious discussion.