[OPE-L:6229] transportation time and space

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Wed Nov 28 2001 - 09:31:45 EST

Paolo wrote in [6227]:

one such interesting question relates to the time of transportation. In the Grundrisse (Penguin p. 523) the time of transportation is conceived as a phase of the production process, that is, the bringing forth of the product to the market where it can be finally consumed. In "Capital" (chapter XIV International publishers) the transportation time is subsumed under the time of circulation. Has this question already been debated by our list? 

That *is* an interesting question. We  might have discussed related questions
in the past (e.g. on "The Costs of Circulation"), but I don't think we really
discussed this particular question. 

So here's a start:

Marx concluded V2, Ch. 6 by asserting that the transport industry "is
distinguished by its appearance as the continuation of the production
process *within* the circulation process and *for* the circulation
process" (V2, Penguin ed, emphasis in original, p. 229).

Yet, Marx also seems pretty emphatic in asserting that "Circulation time
and production time are mutually exclusive" (Ibid, p. 203).

How can these two positions be reconciled?

Here, I think, one must note that there can be a separation between the
temporal and spatial dimensions of the reproduction of capital.  Thus, 
one could conceive of transportation time as productive time which
nonetheless occurs in a different 'sphere' than that of the rest of the
productive sphere.  So, even if production time and circulation time are
mutually exclusive, production time can be expended in different 
locations which typically exist outside of the productive sphere.

To complicate matters still further, though, he also refers to the transport
industry not only as an "independent branch of production"  but also
as a "particular sphere for the investment of productive capital" (Ibid).

One might, then, say that the transport industry (TR) exists as a *sub-sphere*
within the larger "sphere" of circulation (CIRC) [i.e. TR is a sub-set of CIRC]
in which the labor time expended in the tr (TRt) counts as production 
time (pt) [i.e. TRt is a sub-set of pt]? 

Do you (and/or others) (dis)agree with the above?

What do you think the important issues here are?

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: if there are any attachments to this message, *do not open*.

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