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[Xmca-l] Re: units of mathematics education



Right. So how does this suggest that "Marx chose an exchange of commodities as a unit of analysis of bourgeois society"?  Marx goes to pains to point out that no value is created in exchange. Value, in his analysis, is created in labor. And since it is the value of a commodity - the contradiction between its two kind of value -  that needs to be understood, exchange cannot be the unit of analysis.

Martin

On Oct 27, 2014, at 7:31 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> A commodity is therefore a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men’s labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour. This is the reason why the products of labour become commodities, social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses. In the same way the light from an object is perceived by us not as the subjective excitation of our optic nerve, but as the objective form of something outside the eye itself. But, in the act of seeing, there is at all events, an actual passage of light from one thing to another, from the external object to the eye. There is a physical relation between physical things. But it is different with commodities. There, the existence of the things /quâ /commodities, and the value relation between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. There it is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands. This I call the Fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour, so soon as they are produced as commodities, and which is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities.
> 
> This Fetishism of commodities has its origin, as the foregoing analysis has already shown, in the peculiar social character of the labour that produces them.
> http://marx.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm#S4
> 
> Andy
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> 
> 
> Martin John Packer wrote:
>> 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.
>>>>>           
>>>> 
>>>>       
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>  
>