[OPE-L:4739] Re: Re: captal scarcity

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU)
Date: Mon Jan 08 2001 - 15:19:23 EST

>On Fri, 22 Dec 2000, you wrote:
>> Gil writes [#4729]:
>> ... D)  As noted before, the key systemic basis for surplus value is capital
>> sscarcity. ... capitalist exploitation can be eliminated simply through
>> sufficient wealth redistribution.
>> I don't get it: if the cause of capitalism is capital scarcity, how does
>> re-distributing what is already insufficient abolish it?
>> Julian
>Focus on scarcity is misleading.

I don't know what "focus" means in this context Paul, but I think a
necessary condition should be recognized as such, and Marx's insistence on
the scenario of price-value proportionality necessarily obscures this link.
 Which is unfortunate, because Marx himself insists on the necessity of
capital scarcity, as I indicated.

>One should look instead at the physical form of the means of production.

Well, perhaps "in addition to", but certainly not "instead"--a necessary
condition is a necessary condition.  

>They are such that they 
>1. require operation by a collective operative
>2. their labour content per capita represents of the order of years of work
>These circumstances inhibit personal private ownership of the means
>of production and necessitate their ownership by either rich individuals,
>firms or some form of collective ownership.

This does not impinge on the argument one way or the other.  It doesn't
deny that capital scarcity is a necessary condition for capitalist
exploitation.  Nor does it deny the contrapositive that sufficient
redistribution would, in Marx's understanding, eliminate the basis for
capitalist exploitation. For example, we could arrange for these
necessarily large firms to be owned collectively by workers rather than by
rich individual capitalists.   GS

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