From: <JulioHuato- at>

Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998

Subject: Re: Postmodern philosophy and Credit

My reaction to Andy's thought.

Andy: a society in which the law of value has been totally swamped in credit, when things are bought and sold at a price which bears no relation whatsoever to the labour embodied in its production, where use-value and exchange-value are produced culturally, when anyone who tried to amass capital by labouring or even by employing labour would be like the Marxist complaining about the rank idealism of post-modern writers or the accoutnat worrying about the massive accumulation of debt.

Julio: It's not clear to me what a "swamped" (or "buried") law of value means. If it means that the law of value (as it expresses itself in capitalist commodity exchange and through the law of surplus value) continues regulating credit (and market) expansion in today's capitalism although it does so manifesting itself in an increasingly indirect manner, I agree.

In my understanding, the law of value does NOT represent that the market prices of commodities are related to the labour "embodied" but to the labour NECESSARY (required) in their production. But then, is social labor required related to market prices? What's capital after all, but value that grows? And what's value if it's not -- ultimately -- human labor (objectified and alienated)? Ether? What does it mean to "culturally" produce use-values and exchange-values?