What is a thorough critique of the subjective theory of value...

What is a thorough critique of the subjective theory of value? I have been bogged down for days now in a conversation with several idiots that do nothing but scream "its subjective" without giving me an inch.
Is Bukharin 's "economic theory of the leisure class" good?

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In contrast to what, the LTV? They're usually discussing different things, value for Marx isn't about different subjective valuations of things, like apples and oranges.

Ask them where these subjective values come from.

They may say "From experience". In that case ask them if this was experience of subjective values. They will say yes.

The only thing the STV tells us about value is that it comes from value, that is to say it tells us nothing at all. There must be some objective base line for this.

They may say "That is the cost of production". But the cost of production is derived from the cost of labor and the materials needed for the product. According to the STV, those and their costs of production are all subjective. Here again the STV tells us nothing about value beyond that it comes from value.

The LTV in contrast tells us a lot about value. It tells us how value is dependent on labor, and how price oscillates around value. When explaining the LTV, draw the distinction between value and price or else the lolberts will become aggressive.

Why doesn't digging a hole and filling it in over and over have any value?

I wish it was that easy. One time I painstakingly described in detail how price is not really a subjective unlimited numerical value, but is based on production costs and demand purchasing power, etc. not even using the LTV really. He even agreed with me, then of course instantly replied "but it's still subjective". At that point I left the conversation, it was becoming physically painful.

I know, but whenever I talk of the LTV, I always get, especially from ancaps, the "lol the looser LTV is totally debunked by the chad STV". Not that they know what the LTV.

Oh god they're even here… I hate this timeline…

Value isnt subjective if taken from society as a whole. It is distinctly measurable.

(if it wasnt there would be no prices and trade would be impossible, because noone could know what the value of anything is)

No you don't get it. If I trade a pizza for $5 it's because I value the pizza more than $5. Value si subjective, ya commie.
(actual response to exactly what you said. No pointing out $5 is a measure of value or the fact that the exchange is done between equivalent values it's perfectly useless)

Also cannot grammar today. Sorry native English speakers for this disaster.


Because the labor has to be useful, it has to satisfy something. Digging a hole and filling it is nothing work, and everyone, INCLUDING MARX, sees that as useless.

Even a subjectivist should agree that prices are dependent on cost of production. And cost of production is dependent on the physical properties of the good in the production process - i.e., something objective. If MacBook pros were buried in the ground such that 5 minutes of labor were sufficient to dig one up, would they really be worth so much? What is changing here - the subjective value people get out of MacBooks or the objective conditions of production? Principal among them being the amount of labor required to turn raw materials into a computer?

Supply and demand theory should already include an objective component - supply. Subjectivists only think that supply is subjective too because they're operating from a Walrasian auctioneer model, where the goods already exist as if by magic, not where labor has to be applied to raw materials to turn them into products, and combining products into more valuable products. And if demand is the only thing that is subjective, what if it's not actually that important as long as it is "sufficient" to cause something to be brought into production? In the long run (and economists love to talk about that), it doesn't matter how much people demand toilet paper - the price may temporarily go up due to increased demand, but then capitalists will produce more of it and the price will go back down, hovering around the cost of production plus the average rate of profit.

This is a bad example because digging a hole a filling it again does produce societal good. It keeps the diggers healthy physically and mentally reducing strain on healthcare system.

No, you don't get it.

What's subjective and arbritary is the determined value of said force used to get that Macbook out.

Why does it take $5, why doesn't it take $10, or $20?

Why is it not free?

Who determines that value?

That's exactly why prices are subjectives because everything can be negociated.

Everything can be negotiated within certain bounds, sure. No one is gonna pay you $10,000/hr to dig a hole in the ground. The value of that labor is is determined by the objective material condition that anyone with two hands is capable of it.

You mean gravedigging?

It can be negotiated to the point where it's free.
So how much is digging a hole in ground objectively worth?
I don't understand.

Same worker works for two different bosses, one boss pays $7, the other pays $10, exact same labor hours and force, which one is the correct price? And how can you objectively determine that?

It cannot, because people need to eat and eating costs money.
The avarage time it takes society to dig the hole
Nobody is going to pay 10k for digging a hole because it can be done by anyone within a certain amount of hours. On avarage, the avarage wage x the avarage hours is way less than 10k and as such the price goes down.

Regardless of why you dig a hole, you can be sure of the minimal cost: namely what it takes to equip the labourer and maintain him for the time it takes to dig the hole (in food, clothes and housing, …). Whether digging the hole is worth this cost depends on why you are digging it, but in any case you have to trade in the amount of value equal to the cost if you want to see it dug.

This determines the value in the market thus: if you get X by digging a hole, you will not pay much more than it takes to have a hole dug yourself when you try to acquire X in the market. Anyone trying to sell X greatly above cost of production will be priced out of the market.
Ceteris paribus paying 10$ will have you priced out the market by those who produce paying only 7$. But whether you are able to pay 7 in stead of 10 is dependent on other factors, like a sufficiently desperate labour force. The lower bound is the pay it takes to barely keep labourers alive, and the upper bound is paying labourers so much that cost of production outstrips that of competitors.

There are no objective values to be discerned by dissecting commodities, only an ever fluctuating interplay of the cost of production and opportunity cost determined by factors like social relations and absolute material scarcity.

You sure about that?

But it can and it did happen, people do things for relationship.
And how does this average time translate to money? Who determine this cost? The boss or the laborer?
Says who? By you, if I call my brother to dig up a hole for free, was he exploited?
Yeah, people hasn't been paid differently for the exact same job they do, no siree, no.

No, it's because they decide to buy it at that price.

Or the retailer can negociate to down the price, or given free merchandise as bonus.

All you need to dig a hole is your hand, can you break down the exact cost of having your hands?
This doesn't take in social relationship and why the market works as it is.

Supposedly you want to give your kid or someone some encouragement some money but he has to work something, so you pay some money for him when he should dig a hole for you for free.

What do you say to that?

Who determine this fucking price? This is not to mention that that currency is fucking subjective i.e. it's based on nothing.

t. has never dug a hole in his life
But setting aside your intellectual dishonesty, you will need to consume enough food to offset the calories burnt and muscle and skin tissue damaged. You also incur a time cost.

The rest of your post is pure gibberish. You cannot speak of (exchange) value without imagining a market, and there is no exchange value outside the market (though these is always cost, see above). If you talk of situations taking place outside the market, like in the family, labour expenditure depends here on direct relations. As soon as you are talking of indirect relations of production where you have specialization, exchange, and so on you have to start accounting for the relative costs of production of the various goods and services to make sure you get out of the market as much as you put in, which again depends on objective costs.

Do they have the same opinion about what the price of that item should be?

I have dug a hole you dumb fucking cunt, I did with my hand.
Or setting aside your dumbassery.
So you do that every times you pay someone? Nigger, I just think of some money and pay my bro, he doesn't care because he think it should have been free work.
Dumbass, the world is the market, you do things to get something else, you do things for free and you get relationship and experiences out of it, everything is an exchange.

No, that is why people negotiate.

That's exactly why negotiation exist.

Or do you think every companies sell their goods at the correct prices?

You think the customers of Aldi and Amazon haggle with staff over prices of items?

No, but they do search for retailers with better deals.

Unscientific garbage. Imagine if your kind was involved in ballistics back in the day - "bro I just load a handful of black powder into the cannon sorta kinda point it the right way". No, to understand and perfect the art of production (with the ultimate aim of liberating people from the need to engage in so much of it all the time while still reaping the material benefits it brings), it has to be scientifically understood. Just because you would rather hand wave it away than do the actual intellectual work does not mean it is not there to be done.

… he said, after many times pointing out that people do things for free in family relations. Intellectually dishonest. I had your number the first time.

Yo, dumb cunt

This is why you materialist ass will never win.

But I read on the internet that you can negotiate everything down to zero. Why can't I negotiate with Aldi?

You can negotitate with Aldi by refusing to buy their goods.

Good thing Aldi isn't the only seller around.

Do you think these retailers selling all these different items or the stock owners of companies producing them are passionate about these items? Or that they do what they do for money and because they have no better idea for where the highest profits are going to be?

Why, do we lack the power of love and friendship, or what? This is the most inane pap I have read all day.

I don't know and I don't care.

What matters is getting quality goods at a good price.

It's also the most truthful one.

Love exist, friendship exist, relationship exist, people aren't all rational actors, they aren't machine that objectively calculate everything in their life.

Usually sellers like Aldi minimize cost so they can sell at the lowest prices. Can I haggle with companies to go below their production price for goods? Are there sellers other then Aldi who sell below their cost price? Can everyone haggle for goods below their cost price? How would the companies make money?

There are retailers that have better prices than Aldi, or you can wait for sale and deals from Aldi themselves.

Doesn't matter to the consumer.

You don't know whether business people do things for profit?
What's a good price?

I don't know the inside of business nor I do care about it. What matters is they give good prices for their products and their products meet the quality.
A price I consider good for the product.

delet this

Economic philosophers of the Austrian school may not know this, but a company that makes a certain product has to meet several criteria for being able to do so, among them is that in order to continue to produce, it needs to exist.

And the communists need to know that the free market wants competition, if you can't compete, get the fuck out.

Continue your inquiry, and perhaps some day you will discover the reasons why some ways of valuing your products make sense when you want to stay on the market, and some don't. Maybe could have something to do with the cost of labor and raw materials?

What do you have to teach us about economics then?

Running a business costs $$$, and you can't go into debt of infinite size for an infinite time. Hence, a business that exists for some time tends to obtain enough money to cover these costs, whether you are personally aware of that or not. An exceptional situation where a business may sell something below production cost does not disprove that. A fox needs to obtain food or it dies. It's silly to say a fox doesn't need food to live because you personally don't know or care about fox biology (while posting on a fox forum) or because you know of some fox going a whole day without food and surviving that.

Discover this: the system of value doesn't actually make sense, you have entertainment that cost more than food and medicine.
It's why Apple can make the iphone X costs that much compared to something like Xiaomi.
No, son, the cost of labor and raw materials are all arbitrary too. There's no god that comes down that objectively defines that your labor costs any money.

What I teach you about economics are that prices are negotitable and values are subjective.

The fact they make money or not does not matter to the consumer.
Understatement of the year.
And I don't care how a fox lives, all I care is that either it lives or not, or I find another fox.

Consider two items that are both continuously mass-produced in a competitive environment not clogged up by patent spam, item A is made only of a strict subset of the physical inputs of item B; and you believe that nothing can be gleaned from that about how the prices of A and B are likely to relate to each other? You don't think it's highly probable that A won't be more expensive than B?

Within the market? We are talking of economic value, not emotional value.
Is the question how much an hour is worth? In that case it's worth how much money-commodity can be created in the same period.
Nothing to do with the discussion.
On average they are not. The single capitalist may be able to exploit the single worker more than the rest of the merry band, but in aggregate these individual differences are meaningless.


Dude, go ask your business.

And to answer you, no, all these costs are still arbitrary.

There's no objective that determines A is more expensive than B, because the costs making them are arbitrary.

X makes Y. C cares about Y. It follows that the existence of X has an effect on the happiness of C, whether C is aware of that connection or not. You are mixing up the existence of the effect with awareness of it.

This is just how fiat currency works.

From here:bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=1075. The value of fiat currency in terms of LTV is the labour it takes to pay the amount of taxes you are owed.

Within the market gifts exist, emotional value and economic values are intertwined, unless you are new to business.
Except the prices of said commodity are arbritary and can be given for free. Does that mean your hour working worth nothing?
So his labor went poof?
Nobody gives a shit about average, either it exists or not.
In other words, the majority of workers are dumb, thus everybody must be equally dumb.

You can't seriously believe this. If you need five apples to make one apple pie it will cost twice as much apples to make two of them. To price it in money is just to substitute a concrete commodity for a money commodity. Quantifiable costs like the above can exist totally independent of the question of how relative prices of various commodities are formed, and any set exchange rate for the money commodity they can be compared across commodities.

X makes Y.

C cares about Y.

But C knows X isn't the one that makes Y, thus C doesn't need to give a shit about X.


Do you understand now?

Fiat currency is literally nonsense, and the USA and every nations are basically abusing debts and printing money.

The fact communists believe that makes sense really say more about communists than the austrians.

Please don't give me this crap. No sihit they are intertwined, doesn't mean one is not dominant or objective.
I still have to meet the company that gives away its commodities for free.
As far as the economy is concerned yes. There is a difference between private labour and social labour.
No in other words the majority of people has no choice whatsoever and has to take whatever gets thrown their way.

And the money is fucking arbitrary, you don't understand this?

I say your apple pie costs $5, you say it's $25, who is right?

Entertainment, medicine, and technology are heavily encumbered by intellectual property (making it a crime to offer the exact same product). Any sort of a product that is scarce (really or artificially) will obviously have the price much more at the whim of the producer.

So for example, an aircraft costing more money than a car is a completely arbitrary situation, and could change any moment if people's tastes in vehicles shifted? Got it senpai.

DO you know why we abandoned the gold standard? It was because the rate of profit was getting too low and prices were forced to reflect very closely their labour content. Thsi was because they money commodity was, well, a commodity itself. The way capitalism survived this was by turning money into a non-commodity, whose value is arbitrarily determined by the state. It was the only way to maintain values and prices separated.

Gifts exist and they are dominant and objective in the business.
Come on, you never seen companies giving away free products, what?
Oh shit son, except his labor exists, it just goes for free, and it's social, not private.
So the majority of the world are dumb.

In China, there's no IP, yet an Iphone still costs more than an Iphone clone. Apple doesn't give a damn.
Every products are scarce because resources are scarces, this does not justify the prices of any company.
I mean there are cars that cost more than aircraft, simply because of taste.

So ready to admit you are wrong?

I don't know and I don't care.

Both the gold standard and fiat money are bullshit, and all money are arbitrary.

An Austrian Economist at the bakery:

An austrian economist at the bakery

A communist at the bakery

An austrian gets another $10 in this pocket.

>X makes Y.
>But C knows X isn't the one that makes Y
Libertarian philosophy is too deep for me :(

The price is determined by the seller. You might have noticed this in the store - it's the seller who puts the labels on things. But competition will bring this price in line with the objective exchange value current at that time.

Wow, I didn't know X makes Y means only X can make Y.

I think it's not only libertarian philosophy, you need to study basic grammar.

No, the seller proposes the price, it's not determined because it can be given out for free.

Yet another misunderstanding from communist.

It can't, not on average. You need to recoup costs or you cannot continue to produce.

Nobody gives a damn about average, it's either you can or you cannot.
Nobody gives a damn about that either.


Yet another episode where communists buy thing at high prices when austrian economists get shit for free.

I guess?

A vulgar Keynesian at the bakery.


That's a good joke.

Is this the power of Austrian economic theory?

An austrian cares not why it happens, but rather it happens or not or he can exploit it to maximum efficiency.

But of course, the communist, the smart one who ends up bankrupting themselves by paying for shit.

It's the power of the Invisible Hand of the market, my dearie.

So simple, yet so effective.

An Iphone clone isn't the same product as an Iphone by Apple. Different OS, different applications, no customer support.
There's a difference in scarcity between products.
Luxury goods targeted at people who have enormous cash at their disposal aren't exactly the backbone of economy.

Effective at what exactly?

You probably meant to write:
>But C knows X isn't the only one that makes Y
But what you actually wrote is:
Anyway, even the improved sentence amounts to a non sequitur: Whether there is one producer of Y or several doesn't change that there are costs to running a business and these costs determine a minimum for the price that you can't go under for a long time without going out of business.

If you don't know why or how it happens you cannot exploit something effectively. Stop larping as some edgy go-getter.

It does the same things actually, and Iphone clone company does have computer support nowadays.
And? There are more Iphone than Iphone clones.
So, are they not goods? Don't they cost money? So many exceptions with marxists?
Getting more than everyone else.

As said, I don't care what X does, if another company makes Y at lower cost then X deserves to go, and so on and so on.

And again, and again, all these costs to run a business? Also arbitrary because they are based on money, something arbitrary.

God, I'm glad you don't know what my job is, but I assure you, I don't need to know why or how things happen, all I need to know is that if something can be done or not, and at what prices.

Ah, so this is how the economic calculation problem was created. If the world is deeply magical to Austrians then obviously you can't do anything without prices.

A lot of Holla Forumsyps in here I see. And not a single argument was made.

Yes, but somehow the materialists cannot out-wealth the austrian magicians.

Oh well, as said, marxists would win if God/Buddha comes down and determine that an hour of work costs like $2.

What does "scarce" actually mean? If astronomers found a solar system with entire planets made of gold, what would that matter? The absolute amount of some stuff in the entire universe is not important to us, what matters is the amount within human reach, which brings us back to human work as the center of cost.

There's only one argument:

Value is subjective because it's based on money, and money is subjective/arbitrary.

Whole thread still cannot get over that.


…Do you want a minute to think this over? Not even Mises believes in what you just said.

It means shit will run out.
The cost is arbritary, hell, human work is arbritray as well.

Someone takes 2 hours to dig a hole, someone else takes 3 hours, who should be paid more?

This is an amazing counter-argument: Something is not the case because you personally don't care if it is.

Empirical analysis with so many exceptions and word game? I think no.
Every economy theory is made up, including Marxism.

No, and perhaps Mises is wrong, he's wrong on a lot of things.

It's amazing indeed.

You say: X MUST continue to make a profit in order to produce Y.

I say: I don't care what X does as long as I get Y at the price I want.

I agree with them: it's subjective.

No, it means things will get progressively harder to obtain, eg more labour must be spent to obtain them. Earth has more resources thanw e could ever hope to consume, but 99% of these require a labour cost so high that they are virtually out of our reach.
Are you aware of the SNLT? One of the most basic concepts of the LTV?
It's a social science, not physics. We do not have the luxury of repeatedly throwing people down a slope to calculate their irritation coefficient.
Yes but one is pseudo-science, the other actually tells us something useful.
Ok, here's my usual argument: money has no use-value or utility outside being the vehicle of exchange, in other words money has utility (and therefore value in subjectivist terms) only because it has purchasing power. This purchasing power of money however cannot be at the same time product itself of the subjective value assigned to money by the individual, because if so the purchasing power of money would exist only if money had utility, which we already stated exists only because of its purchasing power. This is nothing more than circular reasoning. The solution to the dilemma is to assume that the purchasing power of money, which is nothing else than its exchange value, is determined not by the individual but is immanent to the money-commodity itself.

Thank for the input. Really aprpeaciate it.

Do you actually believe that Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet, or George Soros ever, at any point in their lives, subscribed to the view that prices are in no way constrained by the physical-technical relations of production?

No, it literally means shit will run out. Earth, as plentiful as it is, will run out of resources.
Nigger please, with automaton, there's doubt that there could be human labor cost in the future.
No, I'm not.
It's not marxism that tells you how to do business, so I guess it's the pseudo-science one?
But…so money determines itself? This absolute bullshit is why the government can issue billions and billions of dollars and the austrian economists laugh at them.

Jesus christ, marxism really is bullshit.

I don't know, go ask them?

Because I don't know and I don't care.

*blocks your path
Marxists are and have always been the best capitalists.

Can you tell me some successful marxist capitalists right now?


Oh wow, Deng is a marxist?

The guy who opens up the market and joins the state with the corporation?

That guy?


this really made me think

No shit. So what?
Yes, that's exactly what will kill capitalism.
What a surprise.
No you idiot, money has objective value and needs to be so because otherwise it would not be the vehicle of exchange. This value can come from government imposition or be the representation of a value-commodity, that's irrelevant.

Lemme guess, Putin is also a marxist.

Is Putin the leader of a Communist Party? No, he is not.

Did Putin ever state something like this? If you can give me a source, than I would be happy.

So shit are gonna be scarce.
Capitalism actually doesn't revolve labor cost, funnily enough.
No, you actual idiot, money has no objective value and the fact marxist like you who think it should be means you will always be one step lower than austrian economists who think fiat money are literally bullshit papers enforced by violence.

The absolute state of Holla Forums.

Nobody cares what Deng says, look at what he does. I guess a liberalized market with sweatshops are the sign of a marxist.

the absolute state of lolberts.

So what? Human labour is scarce, does that give it value? Your intelligence is a very scarce resource? Is it very valuable because of that?
Oh shit really? Care to describe to me how a completely automated capitalist economy would survive?
In your blindness you did not even realize that we actually agree that fiat currency is nothing more than government enforcement. What you and your Austrian friends fail to realize is that this "bullshit money" is the thing that saved capitalism.

Oh yeah, shit just runs out, it's the shit that's doing it, reducing itself, it's in its nature. No, what actually happens is that humans use resources, humans decide for or against recycling, humans decide for or against using renewable resources at a rate that prevents it from shrinking, and the free energy from the sun will keep this planet livable for us and our descendants for over a million years to come – if we don't fuck up.
Austrian/libertarian economics does not tell you how to run a business, it's a particular world-view that gets financed by a few multi-millionaires to be instilled in bureaucrats to prevent them from getting ideas about intervening in the economy in a way which might threaten the power of this very tiny minority, and it's also aimed at tech workers to make them suspicious against unionizing.

I can't personally ask Benjamin Graham, since he is dead. Don't you know who that was? You don't get rich by subscribing to Austrian economics. It has zero predictive value.

Last time I checked, you can still buy stuff with the right piece of paper. To society, it clearly represents objective value. You can whine about it all you want, you still won't be able buy almost anything without money.

Woah there, tough guy

subjective "value" is talking about a different "value" then we do, its not incorrect about it either let me try to explain
there are a bunch of different products at the supermarket, some people buy the really cheap food and some buy expensive name brand stuff, the person buying the name brand stuff would not have bought it if they didnt think it was worth the money but the person who didnt buy it obviously didnt think it was worth the money, these two people valued the name brand at different monetary values

this extends past money, two different men sit comfortably in their respective chairs and each get thirsty, one gets up for a drink sooner then the other, why? because his desire for thirst was greater then his desire to laze around. the other one would eventually get up as well but his sloth is greater then the man who got up first, so his thirst must become mighty enough to overcome it

Yeah this is all well and good, but the problem is when you try to use this logic in aggregate and pretend this is how society self regulates.

Marx deals with the idea of subjective value through his discussion of use value being the bearer of exchange value. I can remember which section of the first three chapters he discusses this though.

if value comes from labor, then how can you define how useful labor is? doesn't that mean the usefulness of labor, itself, is subjective? and thus the value of labor is also subjective?

Labor is useful in the subjective sense only if someone sees usefulness in it - that is, if it has an use value, and exchange only occurs if it exists. However, the LTV proposes that the exchange value of a commodity is directly proportional to the amount of time put into the elaboration process.

Marx’s theory of value is not a theory of why people find certain things useful (they find it valuable because it contains congealed labour etc). It’s a sociological theory of how socially useful labour is distributed in a society which produces capital. It functions much the same way as Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium functions in population genetics as an ideal postulate which allows us to understanding what the forces we observe I everyday life are deviating from.

Man OP I feel bad for you. Leftypol has a shoddy grasp of Marx. Marx actually addresses subjective value on the first pages of Capital where he points out use value is not a “thing of air” but limited by the materiality of the commodity and that since this useful materiality is abstracted from in exchange, the exchange value relation is not a reduction to a “common use value” but to some other common quality, which is how they are posited as amounts of objectified human labour. The argument is pretty straight forward. Marx also has a long polemic against Samuel Bailey in ToSV which is worth looking at, since its about this issue exactly.

I know Marx's argument, but it' worthless in the minds of my "interlocutors". They contest the fact that the exchange is an equivalence (I exchange $5 for a pizza because to me the piza is worth more than $5), they contest the existence of a third quantity equivalent to both (value is subjective, there is no relation between the pizza and the $5 otuside my personal preference), they contest the idea that this third quantity is labour (das mudpie, exchange itself creates value, it's capital you silly, etc.).
I don't doubt for a second that the discussion devolved because of my own shoddy understanding of Marx, I was hoping there was something a brainlet could understand easily just to get out of this pit.
Do you happen to have a PDF or a link?

Not the guy you responded to, but I was also looking it up

I meant the people who replied to you had a shoddy understanding, not you. Anyway, if they're not willing to listen to your reasons on some apriori basis then just give up imo. Marx addresses all those arguments, mudpie is bizzare because SNLT is based on the aggregate of labour invested in production not on a particular labour time etc. Are these people your friends or just randos on the internet?

marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1863/theories-surplus-value/ch20.htm, Part 3d.

What society finds useful is useful.

Thanks for the links and they're randos.

Just stop arguing with them and read Marx instead. They sound like morons. Why don't they come to leftypol then.

He's talking about the people in this very thread who already tried to talk some sense into him. Don't be lured in, he is not an honest actor.