[OPE-L:5322] Unproductive labour and illusions of competition

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Apr 03 2001 - 12:26:33 EDT

Paul C writes in 5313
>That is not quite what I am saying. The arms have value, since
>labour has to be expended in producing them. The issue is whether
>the value(=labour) in them contributes to the production of a social surplus
>product. My contention is that it does not, and thus the labour
>can not be considered productive of surplus value, hence
>it is unproductive under Marx's definition.

Ah, so you do consider the labor embodied in the production of arms 
to have been productive of value, though not surplus value, since you 
are saying that arms  are values. However, for you the arms are 
values simply in virtue of being embodiments of labor while for me 
they are values insofar as they also have been sold for money price 
(so arms produced by the state for itself would not be values).

I do agree however that the value expended on the purchase of arms 
will not only not be valorized since the arms themselves cannot be 
used to absorb surplus labor, that expended sum of value has in fact 
been pulverized since through no use of the arms will labor  be able 
to preserve their value gratis.

However, this annihilation of value is not immediately obvious since 
if the state has borrowed to purchase the arms, the owner of state 
bonds--a form of fictitious capital--will be able to clip his 
coupons, which will however require the state to create money, tax or 
borrow more.

Yours, Rakesh

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