[OPE-L:7783] Re: Re: "Hic Rhodus, hic salta!"

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Wed Oct 09 2002 - 16:09:54 EDT

Jerry, the inner need to product differentiation is developed by Marx in the
Grundrisse: it comes out of the process of increasing productivity which tends
to saturate social need (=demand at market value). It is posed as the conflict
between the endless expansion of value by capital versus limited capacity to
absorb use value on the part of humans.
Unfortunately I donīt have any more time now but I am very interested in this

gerald_a_levy wrote:

> Re Riccardo's [7773]:
> I didn't really understand (i) well so I'll pass on to:
> > (ii) the second is the fact that surplus value, though coming out
> > from production, is actualised as such ONLY in circulation
> > (actualised: not created).
> Agreed
> > I may suggest - but it's it a provocation - that while Marx's
> > sequence is (rightly) from creation of potential surplus value in
> > production to its actualisation in production, in ACTUAL life what's
> > happen is that firms produce for the market, so it is demand the
> > driving force. which I do not see as something against Marx: provided
> > he is read with an open mind.
> If by "ACTUAL life", you mean actual life in _today's_ capitalist social
> formations,  then I would suggest a different dynamic:  to the extent
> that (as a consequence of the concentration and centralization of capital)
> markets are increasingly dominated by *oligopolies*  where there is a
> high degree of product differentiation,  then the reverse is the case.
> I.e.  rather than responding to demand in the marketplace, the oligopolies
> use (essentially, as part of their product differentiation strategy)
> advertising and marketing to *create*  (individual and market) demand
> for their commodities. Thus, rather than consumer preferences being
> exogenous (as assumed in marginal utility theory and the doctrine of
> consumer sovereignty), business firms play a large role in shaping
> consumer preferences.
> This is not only a different historical period than that in which Marx
> lived but it is also at a level of abstraction which is certainly more
> concrete than that of Volume 1.  In any event, this was not a subject
> that Marx probed to any great extent.  There are some contemporary
> Marxists, such as Ben Fine, who have investigated the nature of
> consumption more. And, of course, there is a large Post-Keynesian
> literature on oligopolies (and some writings by Marxists as well, e.g.
> by Willi Semmler).
> Hic Rhodus, hic salta?
> In solidarity, Jerry

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