Re: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Paula <>
Date: Fri Jan 30 2009 - 20:24:32 EST

Dave wrote:
> Armaments are produced by social labour and have therefore labour-value.
> When sold as commodities they tend to fetch a price proportional to their
> labour-values and yield a profit for the firms that produce them. However,
> if one stops at this level of analysis one cannot see the fundamentally
> parasitic nature of the arms industry on the rest of the economy:
> It lives off entirely from the surplus labour pumped out from the workers
> in the basic sector, and it impedes the growth of the real capital stock
> and of productivity. In this sense it is completely analogous to the
> parasitism of the financial sector.

Dave, you seem to be saying that the armaments sector is unproductive (of
value), but surely the distinction between 'basic' and 'non-basic' goods has
to do with use-value, not value. Is an airplane a 'basic good'? Does an
airplane contain value only if it is sold to a commercial airline, but not
if it's sold to a military? This would be drawing the line between
productive and unproductive on the basis of use-value.


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Received on Fri Jan 30 20:55:13 2009

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