[OPE-L:5215] Re: Re: Re: waste, value, and potential

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 12:54:36 EST

Re Rakesh's [5214]:

> (snip, JL)As Wm J Blake long ago
> underlined, the capitalist abstracts everything on earth except
> quantity of labor. He does not even care about the type of labor,
> about anything in fact, except labor in the abstract as a quantity.
> If a customer asks him to make the food sweet or sour, he will make
> either. If you want your toys round or square, he'll declare that 
> the
> customer is always right. You want a sweater red or blue, he'll
> oblige you either way. But you want to put more labor into it? Ah,
> that's different. The salesman will abstract all natural qualities;
> they are indifferent to him. 

This fails to take into account that if the product mix is varied
(e.g. if toys are made round and square) then there will additional
direct and indirect labor expended in production. I.e. extra direct 
labor will be required over and above what would have been required 
for the production of a homogeneous commodity and extra indirect
labor will be required in the form of additional means of production
to re-tool for joint production (i.e. both round and square toys).
Similarly, the cost of producing blue and red sweaters is not the
same as the cost of producing a sweater that has one color alone. 
In that case, extra  means of production would be required to bring about this change.  And, indeed, it is because of the additional costs associated with product variation that many manufacturers 
don't offer such options (and offer a standardized product instead) or charge extra for any modification of the product (to compensate
for the additional labor time required)

In solidarity, Jerry

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