Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (22) – 価値 21

中湖 康太


Section VI
On an invariable measure of value. 


「商品の相対価値が変化する時、どの商品の価値が下落したか上昇したか確認できることが望ましい。比較すべき、変化することのない標準となる価値の尺度があればこれが可能になる。しかし、このような価値の尺度を得ることは難しい。何故なら、このように価値の尺度となるべきものも、同様の価値の変動を被るからである。つまり、価値の尺度となるべき商品も、その生産に当たって必要な労働投入量の影響を受けるからである。しかし、このような価値の変動が排除されれば、言い換えるならば、例えば貨幣の生産において、労働投入量がいついかなる場合でも変化しない、ということが仮に可能であったとしても、不変の価値の尺度とはならないであろう。何故ならば、既に説明したように、労働も賃金の変動の影響を受けるからであり、生産にあたっての固定資本の比率の影響を受けるからである。 」

When commodities varied in relative value it would be desirable to have the means of ascertaining which of them fell and which rose in real value, and this could be effected only by comparing them one after another with some invariable standard measure of value, which should it self be subject to none of the fluctuations to which other commodities are exposed. Of such a measure it is impossible to be possessed, because there is no commodity which is not itself exposed to the same variations as the things the value of which is to be ascertained; that is, there is none which is not subject to require more or less labor for its production. But if this cause of variation in the value of a medium could be removed – if it were possible that in the production of our money, for instance, the same quantity of labor should at all times be required, still it would not be a perfect standard or invariable measure of value, because, as I have already endeavored to explain, it would be subject to relative variations from a rise or fall of wages, on account of the different proportions of fixed capital which might be necessary to produce it, and to produce those other commodities whose alteration of value we wished to ascertain. 




It might be subject to variations, too, from the same cause, on account of the different degrees of durability of the fixed capital employed on it, and the commodities to be compared with it – or the time necessary to bring the one to market might be longer or shorter than the time necessary to bring the other commodities to market, the variations of which were to be determined; all which circumstances disqualify any commodity that can be thought of from being a perfectly accurate measure of value.

If, for example, we were to fix on gold as a standard, it is evident that it is but a commodity obtained under the same contingencies as every other commodity, and requiring labor and fixed capital to produce it. Like every other commodity, improvements in the saving of labor might be applied to its production, and consequently it might fall in relative value to other things merely on account of the greater facility of producing it.


Copyright© 2020 株式会社ジー・シー・エス(GCS) 中湖康太 経済投資コラム All Rights Reserved.