Re: [OPE-L] faux frais and the armaments industry

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 15:01:34 EDT

[Paul C wrote:]
> 5) In all cases such record keeping constitutes what marx called the
> unproductive faux frais of the mode of production.
[Diego asked:]
> Would not be armaments also faux frais ot the capitalist mode of
> production?


Faux frais are understood to be "incidental" costs associated
with capitalist production.

There is nothing "incidental" about the production of
armaments!  In any event, it is worthwhile specifying
whether the armaments are produced by capitalist firms
which then sell their commodity product to the state
or directly by state employees (e.g. by the military itself).
If the latter, it is debateable whether this is "capitalist" or even
"commodity" production.

This is not to suggest that there are no faux frais
associated with the armaments industry when the
armaments are produced by capitalist firms.  E.g. payoffs
to politicians or state employees(to ensure a contract or
to look the other way so as not to enforce state regulations)
or to underworld figures for "protection."   Marx considered
insurance costs also to be faux frais, although, the cost to
firms for insurance in some branches of production are no
longer quite so "incidental" as they were in Marx's time!

In solidarity, Jerry

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