[OPE-L:4741] RE: capital scarcity

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Mon Jan 08 2001 - 16:04:14 EST

Gil replied [OPE-L:4738]

Julian excerpts the following truncated passage from me
>... D)  As noted before, the key systemic basis for surplus value is
>scarcity. ... capitalist exploitation can be eliminated simply through
>sufficient wealth redistribution.

and asks

>I don't get it: if the cause of capitalism is capital scarcity, how does
>re-distributing what is already insufficient abolish it?

You ellipsed out the key part of the passage, Julian. 

Having looked at this again, I now see what Gil was getting at -- it's the
scarcity of capital *in the hands of the workers* which underpins
capitalism. This, I think, is something we can all agree on (he said

I don't think I'd go along with Gil, tho', in describing this as "systemic
scarcity". While it's true that the scarcity -- from the workers' point of
view -- is a product of the system, Gil's phrasing suggests (at least to me)
*all-round* scarcity.

I think this echo of neo-classicism stunned me into overlooking the force of
the words I excised in my response.


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