[OPE-L:3361] Re: objectivity of value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 23:40:32 EDT

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 Take Fred's work on
>unproductive labor. I think that it's terrific in helping to interpret
>long-term trends going on in the economy.

Hi Michael,

I would be most interested in what you think about Fred's idea that Marxism
provides a superior theory of current technical change, i.e., the
importance of reducing unproductive labor through on line buying? And what
effects will computers have on the U/P labor ratio, idle circulation time,
the turnover of capital in general, the rationalisation of inventories,
economies of scale,--in short profitability.

I think most of the world forgets--though certainly not you--that Marx did
not only theorize technological innovation as a productive labor saving

Someone like Robert Gordon is not studying the possible effects of the
computer revolution on profitability in Marxian categories. His anti hype
may be right, but I don't think it should not mean much to us unless

While he should have been trying to figure out how to construct a
composite commodity as an invariant measure of value to study effects of
changing distribution in an otherwise self identical system, Marx seems to
have lost himself in studying the industrial revolution in its totality:
"The chief means of reducing the time of circulation is improved
communications. The last 50 years have brought about a revolution in this
field, comparable only to the industrial revolution of the latter half of
the 18th century [!]...the macadamized road...displaced by railway...the
sailing vessel...been pushed into the background by the praid and
dependable steamboat line, and the entire globe is being girdled by the
telegraph wires....the period of turnover of the total world commerce has
been reduced...the efficacy of the capital involved in it has been more
than doubled or trebled [an important back of the envelope calculation!].
It goes without saying that this has not been without effect on the rate of

Yours, Rakesh

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