This is in response to Lorenzo’s comment here concerning Marxism:
In a smaller economic system, relatively speaking more closed system, the socially necessary abstract labor time would be more closely aligned with the crude labor time. Value in a barter system would be argued between folks that were more intimately acquainted with the effort it took to create the products. If the crude labor value and the socially necessary abstract labor diverged widely then the ‘bid’ and ‘ask’ values would not create a market. To the degree that they converge is to the degree that a market is made. In capitalism where a third party is typically assumed and the ‘value’ of capital (of money) has varying degrees of severance from the crude labor required to make the product, a sort of free floating uncertainty about the variation between crude labor and socially necessary abstract labor time certainly opens the door for exploitation where value is not ever realized by the laborers, the means of production or even more, the owners of production assuming they are not the laborers. For example, the transformation of value from a house to a mortgage to mortgage backed securities to credit default swaps represent multiple opportunities for values to be reassessed, sliced and diced, to the point where the market can actually be thoroughly confused about who owns what underlying asset (or what percentage of the underlying asset). When this much flexibility is driven by market mechanisms, there is every opportunity for exploitation. Even more so, a good capitalist would not be worth their salt if they could not find a way to exploit the uncertainty in this system of value.