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Can Commodities be Substances of Value?

Deepankar Basu ()
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Deepankar Basu: Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics

Abstract: The Marxian labour theory of value considers labour as the only substance of value. The generalized commodity exploitation theorem (GCET) purports to demonstrate that many other commodities can be substances of value. This note argues that the GCET is based on two conceptual flaws: (a) failure to distinguish labour and labour-power; and (b) failure to distinguish labour-power and other commodities. Once these flaws are corrected, it is easy to show that commodities cannot function as the substances of value. Only labour can be the substance of value.

Keywords: labour theory of value; generalized commodity exploitation theorem. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme and nep-pke
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