RE: [OPE] Services (->Paula)

Date: Tue Jan 06 2009 - 18:36:57 EST

> Note the constant danger of circular reasoning when one adopts the > 'surplus value' criterion: productive labour produces surplus-value, and > surplus-value is created by productive labour only. Ultimately it can > only mean that the labour which is profitable for capitalist firms is > productive.
Hi Dave;
The last sentence doesn't logically follow since profits do not
necessarily arise only from labor which is productive of surplus
value. This was obvious with the original (primitive) accumulation
of capital: firms can receive profits based on the appropriation
of wealth from non-capitalist social formations. Even within a
fully capitalist system, a proportion of the profits received by
firms can be based on the _redistribution_ of surplus value on world
markets (unequal exchange) or through, e.g. 'booty'. Yet,
although military troops might help the profitability of domestic
firms, that doesn't make such labor productive of surplus value.
It is an illusion of the marketplace that certain categories of
labor (such as advertising labor) are productive of surplus value.
The mystery is solved when one distinguishes between surplus
value and profit.
The 'generality' which you see as a virtue of your approach might
be seen as a theoretical liability from another perspective. But,
that gets us back to the question of the trans-historical interpretation
of certain categories.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Tue Jan 6 18:38:41 2009

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