RE: [OPE] Services (->Paula)

Date: Sat Jan 17 2009 - 09:09:03 EST

> Jerry:> >It is not a tautology to point to the difference between the production of > >value and its realization.> > The tautology is in your argument that advertising labour doesn't produce > value *because* it realizes value - this is just a circular argument. You > haven't answered the original question - why doesn't it produce value in the > first place, seeing that it does produce material effects?
Hi Paula:
Well, THAT - I think - IS a tautology, if you are a materialist. What type of human
labor or activity DOESN'T produce "material effects"?
In any event, instead of asking what type of labor produces value, you should be
asking what type of labor produces commodities under capitalism. Doing so would
allow one to focus on the constituent form of the commodity and how the
categories of value, use-value, and exchange-value are all inter-related in
that context.
> >It is also the case that for a commodity> >to have value it must have use-value and uv incorporates a concept of > >social necessity (although, what is considered to be socially> >necessary varies temporally and spatially)> A commodity has both value and use-value, but here we're discussing only > value - the moment you bring in the 'social necessity' of labour you're > talking instead about use-value.
See above. You are talking about productive labor, aren't you? You don't
think that the commodity labor power has a use-value? _Of course_ use-
value is related to the topic of the particular form of labor which
is productive of surplus value.
> >No, the tools have an objective existence, but they are certainly not > >independent. The tools were created and are employed by workers: there is > >an inter-dependency >between the laborer and the tools of labor.> In circulation tools are physically independent from both the people who > created them and the people who will employ them. A hairbrush in a store, > for example, is neither being created nor being used - that's precisely the > moment it exists as a value.
No, the tools represent value even after they are sold. They continue to
represent value until they are fully depreciated and the use-value of
the tools are extinguished.
> >A barber under capitalism is both a subject and an object. The same is true > >for all workers.> The only workers who are ever objects are slaves, human beings who are > simultaneously wealth, and therefore can be bought and sold.
No. Slaves represent a form of property and wealth and are, in that sense,
objects from the standpoint not only of slave owners but slave societies.
But, workers _also_ are objects ... and subjects. Part of the meaning of
"modern industry" (which is also emphasized by those who have a 'historical
mirror' interpretation of abstract labor) is that workers come increasingly to
be treated as objects in the sphere of capitalist production. Yet, they are
not objects _alone_. Their subjectivity, in that sense, could be conceived
in part as a rebellion against their treatment as objects by capital.
> But under > capitalism workers are not wealth, they are not commodities; rather, wealth > is alienated from them, and this can only happen if that wealth exists in > the form of objects, physically separate from the subjects.
See above.
> If a hairdresser sells the hair she cut off me to a wig manufacturer, then > the hair she cut off is a commodity and has value; but the haircut that was > left behind on my head is not a commodity, because it does not exist as an > independent material object, and therefore cannot be exchanged. That's why > there's a market for human hair, but no market for haircuts.
There's "no market for haircuts"? You need to think about that more.
After all these posts, I still don't understand - what appears to me to be -
your fixation with "material objects". That seems to me to miss the boat about
the meaning of productive labor which concerns the particular social
form that labor takes under capitalism which produces surplus value.
in solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Sat Jan 17 09:10:45 2009

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