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[Xmca-l] Re: units of mathematics education



Yes, of course the commodity has its genesis and its demise in cycles of production, exchange, distribution, and consumption, in which its value(s) are created and dissipated. Its material properties are hardly irrelevant to its value - it's just that a chemist is not doing the right kind of science to detect value. It seems very odd to suggest that "exchange of commodities" is the unit of analysis here, since Marx insists that production always has priority over exchange and consumption.  It is the commodity itself which in its form contains the central contradiction between use value and exchange value.

Martin

On Oct 27, 2014, at 6:16 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> I agree that Marx's formulation in the beginning of Chapter 1 and also in the Preface are ambiguous, but the whole drift of the work is that value is not a property of a material artefact but of a social relation.
> 
>    "In the analysis of economic forms, moreover, neither microscopes
>   nor chemical reagents are of use. The force of abstraction must
>   replace both. But in bourgeois society, the commodity-form of the
>   product of labour — or value-form of the commodity — is the economic
>   cell-form." (Preface to First German Edition)
> 
> Marx goes to great lengths to show that there is nothing about the commodity itself - the material object - which gives it value or human powers. See the concluding paragraph of Chapter 1: "So far no chemist has ever discovered exchange value either in a pearl or a diamond."
> 
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> 
> 
> Martin John Packer wrote:
>> Marx's unit of analysis in Capital was the commodity, right? Not the exchange of commodities.
>> 
>> "The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as “an immense accumulation of commodities,” its unit being a single commodity. Our investigation must therefore begin with the analysis of a commodity."
>> 
>> "A commodity appears, at first sight, a very trivial thing, and easily understood. Its analysis shows that it is, in reality, a very queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties."
>> 
>> Martin
>> 
>> On Oct 26, 2014, at 11:31 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>> 
>>  
>>> Remember that when Marx chose an exchange of commodities as a unit of analysis of bourgeois society, he knew full-well that commodities are rarely exchanged - they are bought and sold. But Marx did not "include" money in the unit of analysis.
>>>    
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>  
>