Use & Exchange

Exchange-value is predicated upon use-value; the labor that went into a commodity with no social utility could not possibly realize itself as value — it would be worthless, in all senses of the word. Is that correct? If so, then when do exchange-value and use-value "part ways", so that (as described in chapter 4 of Capital) use-values must never be looked upon as the real aim of the capitalist?

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You sell a thing because it has no use for you or it does but you can obtain something else that is more useful to you that way. Since you obtain other things than what you produce with money, you chase money. And this is different from directly bartering things not just simply in it being more convenient, it's always better for you to have more money, because it can give you access to all combinations of things a smaller amount of money would and then some, whereas in a world of barter stockpiling many units of a thing can get really tedious and you might even have negative utility just because of the space it takes up. Moreover, in the barter world people can play their own games with quite distinct goals (you can win in your own game not because the others are losers, but because others don't even play it) whereas in the money world everybody is in the same game and the goal is getting money, so you have winners and losers by definition.

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Prove me wrong, faggot. A commodity that doesn't have any use value cannot have any exchange value because no one would be willing to buy it. Marx makes it clear in Capital that a mudpie is indeed worthless, making one is not social labor and produce no value.

Exchange value is different because it's in relation to supply and demand which in itself is tied to LTV, I don't like it but once you understand it you realize it's true.

Exchange value can exist without use-value or better the use-value can be the exchange value itself (and this is the case for speculative assets or currency)

You can have a bubble where people believe in use use-value that doesn't exist. Beanie babies would be worth something now if their value was ever more than hype. Collector items do have high use-value to a small number of people as a symbol of social status (having the money to afford to buy worthless but expensive shit).

How do you exchange something that doesn't have a use value?

What is the use-value of paper currency? That of possessing an exchange value, of being a representation of exchange value

Gold has a use-value and imo ultimately serves as the base level of the global money supply.

Yes gold has use-value other than it being precious, but when it is used as money, its use-value is just that, being the money form of value.

The money supply is actually rather meaningless. We live in a fiat currency world, how can you tell me with a straight face that the quantity of money circulating impacts its value somehow?
And speaking of fiat money, it's the purest example of exchange-value existing by itself. Fiat currency exist purely on the basis of tax collection, which is ultimately a way to give exchange value ot otherwise worthless pieces of paper.

Don't believe Austrian meme economics

it exists based on loans, and in the US dollars case trade for oil.

loans and tax collection are not that different as far as money creation is concerned, what is happening is that the worker is legally required to cede a part of his work to the bank or the state and this part can only be payed with the currency of choice. The labour that goes into paying this obligation gives fiat currency its exchange value, the harder it is to obtain the amount of money required to pay taxes/loans, the more labour that goes into each dollar, the more valuable that dollar is.

Also "trade for oil" is not something giving the dollar value, it's a scheme to maintain the currency supremacy over the world economy, so that the entity controlling its value (US gov) can manipulate it. It's nothing else than a big gig to maintain monopoly.

Imagine actually believing in the LTV

maintaining the currency supremacy with monopoly increases its value though, and allows the US to pull shit like bailing out the banks that no other country would be able to do with repercussion in the "free" market system

*without repercussion

monopoly does not increase the value of the comodity traded and neither do bail-outs. Tell me exactly how are you increasing the labor content of the currency with those actions.


Imagine believing burgeiose economics theory.

Labour theory of value has bourgeois origins. It was promoted by bourgeois economists like Adam Smith long before Karl Marx.

Your point?

LTV is “bourgeois economic theory”

He's probably referring to neoclassical economics fam

fuck, now i miss my beanine babies.

Neoclassical economics is not necessarily bourgeois, there were plenty of socialist economists who subscribed to the neoclassical theory. Also, you don’t need to believe in the labour theory of value to be a Marxist. As John Roemer has shown using rational choice and game theory, you can prove that the bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat without the LTV.

Why should I use neoclassical tools when I have the LTV? I do see the value of proving Marxist points using mainstream economical tools, but that does nothing to diminish the LTV itself, especially considering its scientific validity compared to general equilibrium or game theory.

Because the LTV has been utterly discredited and it cannot be taken seriously by anyone who is not economically illiterate

Oh really? Discredited how and when?

The same goes for the non-existent tendency of the rate of profit to fall and the notion of ever-increasing severity of capitalist crises.

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By Joan Robinson


stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2007/07/marx-wrong-and-.html

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Which I imagine you read. Give me an example then.

>stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2007/07/marx-wrong-and-.html
Of all "debunkings" this is one of the most pathetic I've seen. Literally nothing of value was said in that article.

This is a Marxist blog, by the way.


Marx was wrong in this regard because he failed to realize (just like Ricardo and Smith before him) that technological progress would outpace diminishing returns within the capitalist system. Of course, it’s difficult to blame Marx for this since we didn’t fully realize the nature of technological progress and it’s relationship to economic development until relatively recent research in endogenous growth theory.

A Marxist blog that says Marx was wrong…?

A Marxist blog that says that the LTV and the TRPF are wrong

These are the problem with the LVT:

1. It reduces all heterogeneous human labour to a homogeneous abstract socially necessary labour time unit, but does not properly explain how this happens
2. It is possible that in cases of joint production, the labour value of a commodity might be undefined, nil, or negative.
3. As production becomes more and more automated by machines, robots and artificial intelligence, we could easily imagine a world in which capitalism continues and money profits continue, but human labour falls towards zero. So where, if surplus labour value is the source of money profit, would profit come from in such a world?

What do you have to say about Paul Cockshott's evidence for the LTV, that the average price of goods correlates with the average labor that goes into those goods?

Here, he shows how input-output data can be used to show evidence for the LTV:

youtube.com/watch?v=emnYMfjYh1Q

… With use-value, exchange-value and the money-form?
How so?
From rent.

What exactly is left unexplained? Are you referring to the labour reduction problem?
Explain yourself. Joint production means what exactly? And what's the issue with a commodity being NaN? We are interested in the aggregate effect, not the single commodity.
What you fail to understand is that such a world would not be capitalist. An economy that has no human labour in it is not an economy that can regulate itself through exchange. The economic output would be entirely decided by the previous distribution of wealth, it's a rent-economy, not an exchange-economy. Capitalism would cease to exist and neo-feudalism would be born, confirming Marx's dialectical theory of history.

See it like this: imagine having a machine that is capable of producing bread without an ounce of human input, it is capable of gathering seed, produce fertilizers, collect water, prepare the terrain, harvest, refine, cook and distribute. Let's now imagine a similar machine producing chairs. What is the exchange ratio between the two? Well there isn't really, you can exchange any amount for any other, it's just a question of waiting for the machine to be done. Let's arbitrarily say that they will exchange 1 loaf of bread for 1 chair. The two owners shake hands and the two machines start producing. But here's the question… how is it possible to gain a profit from this? Where in this exchange am I increasing my capital? I am always making an equivalent exchange, the costs are always the same and the exchange outcome as well. There is no capital accumulation possible, we can let the two machines work for millenia and the two owners would not have gained a single penny from it (but a whole lot of chairs and bread). This is because without human input, the value of the bread and chair is as meaningful as the value of air or light and not because they are abundant, but because they are effortless to obtain. For an economy to exist in this environment it needs to be based purely on rent, on parasitic existence an collection.

Wut. You don't understand the labor theory of value, seriously, feel free to quote literally any of Capital and critique it. Where EXACTLY is it wrong?

This is marginally better, but still ultimately empty of anything.
1. It reduces all heterogeneous human labour to a homogeneous abstract socially necessary labour time unit, but does not properly explain how this happens
Marx makes it incredibly clear that the individual laborers/workplaces average out to a certain competitive time for production of a good. So the incredible and mystical "heterogeneity" (lol) comes out as an average rate. This is highschool logic user.
Don't even know what to say, this is unfounded to such a degree I can't imagine what his argument is. I can't even really tell if this is a critique.
I could also imagine a world where I'm God, and I make Capitalism explode. Capitalism is thusly, and quite clearly, unsustainable.
But anyways, I'll take your fantasy land and show you how.
Okay, so assuming you don't just replicate a human laborer in Silicon bodies, you still would need human laborers to create and repair the machinery. This is where the value would come from. If you are talking about human laborers recreated as Silicon, that isn't a refutation of Marx because he couldn't predict robots. They would still function under the LTV.
Because machinery is apparently SO cheap and effective it replaces all human labor (lmao where do you live for this fantasy)

You've answered your own question. There isn't any profit, because there is no surplus value being extracted.

If there are no wage laborers, there are no wages. If there are no wages, there's no consumption. If there is no consumption, there are no profits.

Ideally this would mean the transition from a wage/profit based economy to one of production for need. What we are seeing now is the result of such a metamorphosis, as the economy sheds "surplus" workers (ie, eliminating labor to maximize profit). Diminishing working populations and wages are in turn creating diminishing profits, because there are increasingly fewer people to buy, and less money with which to do so.

This is one of the contradictions of capitalism. As the process of accumulation progresses, it increasingly obviates itself. However, the nature of profit and its necessity both in maintaining the system that creates it, and in its integral social role, incentivizes the profit-gatherers to continue the process as long as possible, even after the material conditions necessary for such a thing no longer exist. The finance economy has arisen directly because of this need, creating fictitious capital to continue the process of accumulation–in effect, collecting the surplus from theoretical future labor.

But in reality, no labor is being done, no capital being created, and subsequently falling profits derived from "real, existing" capital.

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I wasn’t talking about the LTV, I was talking about the TRPF and how it’s supposed to intensify the contradictions inherent to capitalism

Well, you know… technology improving is exactly what is making the RoP to go down. The way only way to counterbalance this tendency is to increase human employment (the neoliberal mass migrations) or decrease the rate of accumulation (the also neoliberal focus on luxury resources and speculative assets rather than pure capital).

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Unlike the idea that production cost per unit rises when you produce more, which is the cornerstone of neoclassical wisdom as taught to hundreds of millions of people, with two unobserved curves necessary for its claim how prices are determined and so on?

1. Of course Marx did explain that, though you have put a "properly" in there, so you can always weasel out saying that this or that explanation isn't precise enough for you. And of course, when making statements like that you can always rely on that your friends of heterodox maverick intellectuals haven't read Marx.
2. Joint production is a headache for anybody, I don't see how one could believe neoclassical pseudo-math or anything else does look good here either.
3. We could imagine a world where blahblahblah – but we don't live in that word.

What do you mean we could easily imagine that? I literally can't. How on earth would a society remain capitalist if no one was forced to work?
In that case the only two options I see are communism for everyone or ultra-luxury communism for the rich where the poor are left to die.

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