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uncomfortably high for his means, or in excess of his estimate of the horse's quality. Bargaining takes place, and ultimately the horse changes owners at two hundred and fifty guineas. Professor Perry has admirably pointed out, that in such a transaction, as indeed in every exchange, every sale, two desires and two efforts are at work. To these must be added two satisfactions. The sale is thus the result of six forces three on each side, all of them mental, all occupied in determining the strength of the feeling, I value, in the minds of two persons. The sportsman desires the horse and the dealer money, or which is the reality always underlying money, those commodities or services which the money will be able to purchase for him. Each man has to make an effort; the one to part with his horse, the other with his money. Lastly, on a comparison of these four feelings, working by pairs on each side, the sportsman comes to the conclusion that he has a higher feeling or esteem for the horse than for two hundred and fifty guineas. The dealer arrives at the opposite sentiment, and the exchange is accomplished. The result is the transfer of two properties, and two satisfactions, one in each of the minds of the buyer and of the seller. Here the nature of value is plainly discerned, the esteem, or caring for, felt for two things in the mind of each of two persons. Both value both the things exchanged. Each values more and prefers to have the thing which the other possesses than that which he himself holds. Each calculates, consciously or not, the severity of the effort he must make to obtain the object of his desire at the loss of what he must give away; and when all is aver each experiences a. satisfaction on becoming the possessor of the article he values most. The bargaining itself is an antagonism of feelings, the sportsman struggling to buy the horse on such terms as will render the effort, the sacrifice endurable, the dealer striving to obtain money sufficient to reconcile him to the sale of his horse.
The same holds equally good of an exchange of services, or of a service against money. Professor Perry lays peculiar stress on the employment of the expression service in the place of commodities, but the difference is only one of detail. He admits that the man who supplies you with a barrel of apples has given in exchange a service equal to that of a physician who attends upon a fever. Quite true. The tailor who makes a coat for another man, or the manufacturer who wove the cloth does him a service, and it is that service that he is paid for. For all but an insignificant portion of purchases, the cost of articles exchanged is made up of payment for services, whether in the form of wages for labour or for the assistance of capital. All this is true, and it is highly important to study and understand this mechanism of trade. But the truth is equally expressed by speaking of the commodity itself. The coat sums up all the services rendered to produce it, and when all are counted up, their name is legion. From first to last, including the construction of tools and transport by sea and land, the services given to put a coat on a man's back would reckon up in thousands.
This explanation of the word value differs in essence from the sense attached to it in the expression that the value of a ton of iron is four pounds. The word here other articles which they could fetch on exchange, or from any property or quality residing in them. The case is identical with that of the expression, I love that child. Love is not a quality, an object in the child, but a feeling in me called out by a quality in the child. That quality is not love, but something which excites love. The feeling is in my mind, the quality giving rise to it in the object. So it is with value. The phrases just mentioned place value in, the I, in the person feeling value. The iron and the sovereigns are objects, precisely because the sentiment of value falls upon them. Neither of these eminent writers has touched the point, which is the core of the question for Political Economy—the strength of the feeling, I value. That strength of feeling it is which determines the amount of the commodities which will be required for an exchange or sale. Mr Mill's definition simply records the results which the strength of the feeling value has produced, the result embodied in the quantity of the things which passed in the exchange. He finds a price attached to a thing, an amount of money or other commodities which must be given to acquire it; that he calls its value, but he altogether passes over the fact that this price, this market-value, is the consequence of a judgment formed by the sentiment, the feeling, value.
Professor Jevons* does recognise a property or circumstance which he says "means," but he evidently intended to say, "which confers value, market value, on the object;" but he does not reach the mind of the valuer, and so fails to explain value. Had he gone on to connect this property, this utility of the * "Theory of Political Economy."
object, with its effect on the feelings of him who values, he would have ultimately reached the true meaning of the word value. He discerns the useful quality of the thing valued; but he is conscious that this is not enough to explain the word, or to determine the amount of its price. Accordingly he resents "the inextricable confusion with the notion of utility in the sense of the word value," and ends by giving it up in despair, as a word which he can make nothing of.
But Professor Jevons feels bound to supply a substitute. Exchange cannot be explained without a term which performs some of the services which the expression value rendered. So he adopts in its place ratio of exchange, as a term which is unequivocal; and then adds the explanation :—" When we speak of the ratio of exchange of pig-iron and gold, there can be no possible doubt that we mean merely the quantity of one given for the other." This is precisely Mr Mill's definition of value. What the Professor has done is to expel the word value, to put in its place ratio of exchange, and thus to give ratio the exact meaning with which he was dissatisfied in value. The deficiencies of Mr Mill's explanation apply equally to the expression ratio of exchange, besides its being an expression utterly foreign to the market, the factory, and the retail shop in which Political Economy dwells. The Professor feels these deficiencies, and in his heart longs to come back to value. After a long discussion on the Theory of Exchange, he touchingly exclaims :—" I have pointed out the excessive ambiguity of the word value, and the apparent impossibility of using it safely. When used to express the mere fact of certain articles exchanging in a particular ratio, I have proposed to substitute the unequivocal expression ratio of exchange. But I am inclined to believe that a ratio is not the meaning which most persons attach to the word value. There is a certain sense of esteem, of desirableness, which we may have with regard to a thing apart from any distinct consciousness of the ratio in which it would exchange for other things." It is to be regretted that he did not follow out the clue contained in this thought; he would then have found his way out of the labyrinth.
Professor Jevons calls the expression, ratio of exchange, unequivocal. As applied to value, nothing can be less so. Ratio simply means proportion. Ratio is a mathematical expression, and nothing else. Twice, threequarters, of the size, or number, and so on. But before . a ratio can be stated, the things compared must be brought to a common denominator. Gold and pig-iron are not halves or quarters of each other in exchange.
By value Mr Mill and Professor Jevons mean price. Mr Mill feels the danger of losing his word value by its being merged into price and tries hard to save it. "The early Political Economists," he tells us, "treated price and value as synonymous, but this was a wasteful expenditure of two good scientific words on a single idea." So he comes to the rescue with a subtle distinction. "By the price of a thing he will understand its value in money; by the value or exchange value of a thing, the command which it gives over purchaseable commodities in general,"—but this is manifestly a distinction without a difference, a pure tautology. This very command is the one thing which money possesses. Money commands all "purchaseable commodities."