Re: [OPE-L] The lump of surplus value fallacy and the Moseley paradox

From: Philip Dunn (hyl0morph@YAHOO.CO.UK)
Date: Sun Jan 13 2008 - 16:03:34 EST

On Sun, 2008-01-13 at 18:51 +0100, Dave Zachariah wrote:
> on 2008-01-13 18:03 Philip Dunn wrote:
> > I read the article some time ago. By fiat, it is possible to define
> > Department III as unproductive. It would also be possible to define it
> > as wholly productive. I doubt if the question can be decided in an a
> > priori fashion. My taste is to regard as much as possible as productive
> > unless a very good reason can be given for thinking otherwise.
> >
> > For example, I would treat advertising as a non-wage cost much like any
> > other. Others would see it a deduction from surplus value. How can you
> > tell?
> >
> Well, in the example it easy to tell the difference. The unproductive
> costs for Departments I and II are clearly not a part of W and M, which
> are the *costs of production*.
> If you say that Department III is productive you are frankly asking the
> wrong question. The whole point of the productive/unproductive
> distinction originates in the fact that some economic activities cannot
> exist without support of surplus labour performed in other ones.
> Since we both agree that
>     "Domestic service as unproductive labour is uncontested"
> Then it makes no difference whether capitalists employ servants directly
> or buy their services from some capitalist firms.
> //Dave Z
> .

Ah, but that is the question -- does it make no difference? If a
capitalist hires Menials'R'Us to provide home comforts, some would say
that the workers employed by said firm are productive. Again, how can
you tell?

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