[OPE-L:3269] Re: robots and value

From: JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 07:20:20 EDT

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I agree with the responses of Mike W [OPE-L:3258] and Alfredo [3268],
but some issues remain:

1) It seems to me that if we create a model/illustration in which
   essential, defining characteristics of capitalism do not appear,
   then we have *mis-specified* the model/illustration to the point
   where it does not describe what it claims to describe (i.e.
   capitalism). Thus, to create a model of a capitalist economy in
   which the major classes (capitalists; wage-workers) are not
   present or in which categories like commodities and money do
   not have a role should cause us to reject said model. This is
   the case *even if* there are pragmatic reasons (e.g. mathematical
   convenience and simplicity) for the under-specification of the
   model. What other categories are required to create a meaningful
   model/illustration of a capitalist economy?

2) All 3 of us agree that a economy in which the production of all
   things (including services) is accomplished by "universal
   robots" can not be accurately described as a capitalist
   economy. But, nontheless, isn't it at least a possibility?
   I.e. even though it is not a possibility at present, isn't
   it a possibility for this (the 21st) century or the next

   I.e. isn't it at least a possible scenario for the future?
   Note that in this scenario capitalism ends not when the
   expropriators are expropriated and when there is the
   "negation of the negation" but when the production of
   commodities by wage-labor ceases. No happy ending with
   that scenario! Indeed, aren't there a significant number
   (perhaps an infinite number!) of future scenarios in which
   capitalism ends not through working-class revolt and the
   creation of socialism? Perhaps one might say, paraphrasing
   Shakespeare, that there are more possibilities for the
   future than were dreamt of in Marx's philosophy?

In solidarity, Jerry

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