Re: [OPE-L] That hissing? It's the sound of bubblenomics deflating

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue Oct 09 2007 - 06:27:45 EDT



Your assumption is that capital can exist only in labour-products which
have value. But capital can also exist simply as a financial claim. If I
divest from $1m of means of production and invest in $1m of gold, and
thereafter divest from $1m of gold and invest in $1m of government
bonds, then other things being equal, my capital is still $1m, only the
form of that capital has changed.


From your private point of view nothing has changed, until that is, the
rate of interest rises and the imputed value of your bonds is written


From the standpoint of society as a whole,  government bonds to
$10billion and a powerstation with a capital value of $10billion are
very different things. The bonds are the ghosts of wasted labour, the
powerstation is a productive asset that still embodies labour. The bonds
correspond to labour previously appropriate by the US government in the
form of expended munitions and soldiering. To treat these both as
capital, is, in my opinion, to confuse the surface illusions experienced
by economic actors with the underlying material reality.



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