Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2007 - 08:22:12 EST

I understand you wish to "stop this thread" now.

You wrote: "If Marx distinguishes
> labor, it is at the level of social relations of
> production and not at the level of the physical
> production process"

Precisely! This is why you don't understand Marx. A horse is not more an
active element in human production than a car or a ship is. _Active element_
means here that it acts as a subject, not as an object. Whether one acts as
a cog in the machine or not, it doesn't matter here. For Marx, things, facts
and concepts are socially determined, and all his theory is
anthropologically designed. A _good_ is not something universally good; it
is a good for human society. For example a shit is usually a good for a fly,
not usually for mankind. Likewise, the sun _produces_ light, the horse
movement and the cow meat... But all those things don't _produce_ from the
point of view of human production. This is fetishist. You speak as the
typical _hyper-materialist_ who would deserve the fiercest critique from
Marx's materialist point of view. Moreover, you seem to confuse
science-fiction films with reality: completely automatic production is
impossible; what it is possible is a more and more automatic production as
designed by human labour.



----- Original Message -----
From: "ajit sinha" <sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

> --- Diego Guerrero <diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES> wrote:
>> Ajit:
>>  This is trivial, isn't it? Who has ever denied that
>> in
>> > most of the cases (sometimes you can find use
>> values
>> > as spontaneous product of nature--as a matter of
>> fact
>> > a great many important use values such as air you
>> > breathe) labor is an element in production
>> process.
>> > All economics, including neoclassical economics
>> assume
>> > 100% of times that labor is an essential element
>> in
>> > the production process. So what are you trying to
>> say
>> > here?
>> > _____________________________
>> You are distorting my words:
>> I don't say that labour is an element in production
>> process, but the ONLY
>> active element. More precisely: without labour you
>> don't have ANY _process_
>> at all in the long run. But with labour you always
>> have a production process
>> no matter how difficult it can become. You will need
>> time, of course. But
>> without labour no passing of time will help you to
>> get a production.
>> And I repeat: Even if it is possible to say that
>> other things enter directly
>> OR indirectly in the production of all commodities,
>> the truth is that labour
>> is the ONLY ONE that enters directly--IN ADDITION TO
>> indirectly--in the
>> production of ALL commodities.
>> That means that labour is different from other
>> elements in production
>> because it is the only thing directly present IN ALL
>> production processes of
>> commodities at the same time (including services).
> ___________________________________
> Okay, let's say I say a commodity x is produced by 2
> tons of steel, 5 tons of coal, and 8 hours of labor.
> You say no! I'm distorting your words, and I should
> have said that a commodity x is produced by 2 tons of
> steel, 5 tons of coal and 8 hours of ACTIVE labor. So
> I follow you and put "active" before labor in the
> description of the production of all the commodities
> x,y, z etc. How does it prove LTV? That is my
> question.
> By the way, the way you are arguing might get you in
> trouble with Marx. Marx was not making distinction
> between labor-power and other means of production on
> the basis that labor is the active element. If horse
> is used in the production process, is the horse an
> active element or not? The significance of labor in
> the production process is basically use of mechanical
> energy. Labor-power is stored (or potential) energy
> which gets released in the production process in a
> similar way as the energy of coal gets released when
> it is burnt in the production process. There are good
> quality works within Marxist literature that show how
> capitalism has gradually tried to reduce laborer from
> having any control over the process of production to a
> mere cog in the machine. That is why it is within the
> realm of imagination that the capitalist system could
> become completely automated with advancement in
> robotic technology. The tragedy of the situation is
> that the only active element in the production process
> is the guy who sets the speed of the assembly line and
> gives order to the robots as well as the workers what
> jobs need to be performed. If Marx distinguishes
> labor, it is at the level of social relations of
> production and not at the level of the physical
> production process. But I have a feeling I'm wasting
> time here, so we might as well stop this thread.
> Cheers, ajit sina
> ______________________
>> Do you want a proof? Please, don't go yet to your
>> kitchen and don't cook:
>> simply tell the physical elements you have in it to
>> produce for you whatever
>> you want, and let me see the results. Please feel
>> free to tell them to use
>> any element that can enter _indirectly_ in whatever
>> you want they cook for
>> you.
>> Cheers,
>> Diego
> ____________________________________________________________________________________
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