Re: [OPE-L] the virology and political economy of two self-reproducing non-basic products

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 10 2005 - 09:26:07 EDT

>  Of course, tongue in cheek aside, your examples clearly
> fail as examples of commodities in Sraffa's system, since they are
> not use-values and have no price

Hi Ian H:

Neither virus has exchange value (although, one can easily posit a
situation in which viruses as weapons are produced in order to be
sold on the market and in which they are fully commodities and hence
have exchange-value): that's why I referred to them as products.

You don't think they have use-value.  Why not?

See below for my previous description of the usefulness of
computer viruses.  The usefulness of viruses as biological
weapons is similar to the use-value of commodities produced
as weapons: their capacity to be used to kill other living beings
-- in this case, human beings.  Without such a 'use-value'
governments and others would not expend living labour and
means of production on their creation.

In solidarity, Jerry

> >The 'usefulness' of the computer virus is its ability to diminish
> >or destroy the use-value (and hence also the value and
> >exchange-value) of computers.

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