Re: [OPE-L] Why aren't non-labourers sources of value?

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu Apr 07 2005 - 10:54:50 EDT


The very way in which you pose your questions suggest a very
limited meaning of creativity.  Can't singers and dancers even without
accompaniment by produced musical instruments be creative?
Belugas dance and sing as well (in fact, they are sometimes called the
"canaries of the sea").  If we can't understand their complex vocal
language and social behavior, this reflects _our_ limited understanding
rather than any lack of intelligence or creativity on the part of that

The emphasis of many Marxians on tool-making  as an indication
of creativity and intelligence seems to me to be misplaced: it makes a
virtue out of a human failing.  Humans must be 'creative' in order to
survive. Other species do not require the same level of creativity for
survival but this can _not_ be taken as an indication of lack of
intelligence.  And whales can be spontaneously creative when they want to
be -- I could tell  you some remarkable stories about this that I have
observed first-hand.

Fishing people in a number of cultures harvest fish with the cooperation
of some whales.  In these cases, whales voluntarily assist in human
hunting. (Don't ask me why.)

> Did they discuss the meaning of life -- or
> indeed the source of value -- with their US and USSR army friends?

Do you know that they don't?

There is certainly evidence that they have complex social relations and

> What
> is the history of the development of the social relations of production
> of the beluga whale?

They have a cooperative society.

Unfortunately, some of their customary social relations have been
adversely affected by contact with the human species which has hunted
them and destroyed traditional habitats.  There is also lots of
evidence, especially for belugas in the St. Lawrence River, that
our pollution is resulting in their annihilation through birth
deformities and pre-mature deaths.

The descriptions that I have read concerning the birth of a new
calf  are remarkable: other females (called by human observes
'midwives') assist in the birthing and share responsibility in the
nurturing of the new calf while the mother recuperates.  And at
the moment of birth, they all joyously celebrate by making almost
every sound in their vocabulary!  The different sounds, btw, are so
plentiful that humans have not even been able to catalog them all -- let
alone comprehend their specific meanings.

> Note that these questions are objective.

No, I think not.  They are expressions of subjective, limited human

In solidarity,  Jerry

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