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

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Sat Apr 09 2005 - 05:26:02 EDT

 The issue of who produces value is at the one level definitional.

Marx defines value as abstract social human labour time. One could alternatively
define it in some way to include the labour of robots.

The questions then would be:

a) Could one at least in principle come up with a determinate way of
   assigning a scalar value to each commodity, given complete technical
   information about the configuration of production by a combination
   of robots and people.
   Unless that is done we do not have a serious theoretical alternative.

b) If one had such a definition of value including robot work, how accurate
   would it be as a theory to explain exchange value. Would it predict observed
   exchange values better or worse than the human labour theory.

Unless we have a procedural solution to a) and observations regarding b)
then this is all just abstract speculation.

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