From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Wed Apr 11 2007 - 12:29:12 EDT
Hi Allin and Paul, Sorry I was not able to reply sooner; the conversation has now run past these comments. But briefly, Allin, I now understand the point of your comments from your other posts of 4/9 and I agree with the analysis -- there is waste that is necessary and goes into the calculation of what is socially necessary. The value of each dinner served embodies, if you like, an appropriate portion of the dinners thrown out. There's another side of the coin. Where waste is unnecessary, it doesn't create value and one simply uses more labor time than is socially necessary and this puts the producer at a competitive disadvantage. The same is true where one producer causes harm to another. What is interesting is that here I think it can be shown that socially necessary labor time becomes the basis for establishing who has to bear the harm. If the entity doing the harm used socially necessary labor time in its activity, the harm is an accident and the injured firm has to include such things in its costs of production as necessary waste. It is like dinners thrown out. But if the entity doing the harm did not use the socially necessary level of care, skill, attention, etc., then the actor is responsible and must make good the damage. There is unnecessary waste and it is the one who fell below the standard of what is socially necessary who must suffer the disadvantage. On the point about need below, I'm not convinced. You cannot make a difficult problem go away by stipulation. Yes it would be nice if we could calculate need based on current levels of technology and I'm sure there are monetary issues that complicate unnecessarily, but in the last analysis I think you cannot remove the way class relations determine social need from what counts as socially necessary labor time. Howard ----- Original Message ----- From: "Allin Cottrell" <cottrell@WFU.EDU> To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU> Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 8:36 PM Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Question > On Tue, 10 Apr 2007, Paul Cockshott wrote: > > > This usage overloads the word 'need' or 'necessary' with two distinct > > meanings: > > > > 1. necessary under current levels of technology > > > > 2. necessary to meet currently available market demand... > > Thanks, Paul. This is very much the reply I intended to give to > Howard's question, had I had time to do so. > > Allin.
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