Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (3) – 価値 2

中湖 康太

労働を交換価値の基礎とする労働価値説の展開

That this is really the foundation of the exchangeable value of all things, excepting those which cannot be increased by human industry, is a doctrine of the utmost importance in political economy; for from no source do so many errors, and so much difference of opinion in that science proceed, as from the vague ideas which are attached to the word value.

「交換価値は労働投入量によって決定される・・・これが政治経済学で最も重要な原則である」 そうでない商品もあるが、それらは政治経済学の主な対象にはならない、とする。

効率的生産が前提

If the quantity of labor realized in commodities regulate their exchangeable value, every increase of the quantity of labor must augment the value of that commodity on which it is exercised, as every diminution must lower it.

「もし、商品に化体された労働が交換価値を決定するならば、労働投入量が増加すれば、それに比例して商品の交換価値も増加する」商品の交換価値はそれに化体された労働によって決定される。リカードは、効率性については触れていないが、労働価値説に前提となる交換価値の基礎としての労働投入量は、効率的な生産における労働投入量であることに留意が必要。

アダム・スミスの主張

Adam Smith, who so accurately defined the original source of exchangeable value, and who was bound in consistency to maintain that all things became more or less valuable in proportion as more or less labor was bestowed on their production, has himself erected another standard measure of value, and speaks of things being more or less valuable in proportion as they will exchange for more or less of this standard measure. Sometimes he speaks of corn, at other times of labor, as a standard measure; not the quantity of labor bestowed on the production of any object, but the quantity which it can command in the market; as if these were two equivalent expressions, and as if, because a man’s labor had become double efficient, and he could therefore produce twice the quantity of a commodity, he would necessarily receive twice the former quantity in exchange for it.

「アダム・スミスは、労働投入量が交換価値を決定すると正しく定義した」と述べる。繰り返しになるが、労働が交換価値を規定するとの労働価値説の展開にあたって、リカードは、アダム・スミスの主張に従っている。

金や銀は価値の基準としては不適切: 労働価値説は限界価値説への1ステップ

If this indeed were true, if the reward of the laborer were always in proportion to what he produced, the quantity of labor bestowed on a commodity, and quantity of labor which that commodity would purchase, would be equal, and either might accurately measure the variations of other things; but they are not equal; the first is under many circumstances an invariable standard, indicating correctly the variations of other things; the latter is subject to as many fluctuations as the commodities compared with it. Adam Smith, after most ably showing the insufficiency of a variable medium, such as gold and silver, for the purpose of determining the varying value of other things, has himself, by fixing on corn or labor, chosen a medium no less variable.

「アダム・スミスは、金や銀も、交換価値の基準としては、変りやすく、不十分である」としている。通貨価値を裏付けるものとして、18世紀から19世紀には銀本位制、金本位制があることを考えると、金や銀も価値の基準としてふさわしくないとする考え方は、注目に値する。当時としては革新的な考え方であったといってよいのだろう。労働を交換価値の基礎とする労働価値説は、現代経済学における限界価値説(限界効用、限界生産力)への発展につながる概念といえるだろう。但し、アダム・スミスは交換価値の基礎として、労働と並んで穀物をあげている。

(2015.8)

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