[OPE-L:4904] faux frais, armaments, and security guard services

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed Feb 14 2001 - 15:47:59 EST

In [OPE-L:4903] Andrew K wrote:

> Actually, I think armaments and the whole of military
> spending are
> faux frais of production and thus part of Dept. I.  I do
> not see
> how one can think of them as private consumption.

1)  Military spending is not "incidental".  It wasn't "incidental" in Marx's
time and it is still less "incidental" in our time.

2)  "Faux frais" in Marx  take the form of expenditures by individual
capitalists. I can't think of any example in which he referred to state
spending as "faux frais".

3)  Military spending is undertaken by the state not individual capitalists.
Capitalists may (or may not) produce armaments, but  demand by the state is

4) Payments for security guards (and even private armies, e.g. of
Pinkertons) by individual capitalists *may* be thought of as  "faux frais"
*or* they may be best thought of as unproductive consumption of surplus
value by individual capitalists (and, thereby, the security guards etc.
would represent unproductive labor) ... but this is not the same thing as
the armaments sector and state military spending.

Paul B: do you think that security guards, etc. should be thought of as
"faux frais" or as unproductive labor? I tend towards the later position but
I am open to discussion.

In solidarity, Jerry

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