Re: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Mon Feb 23 2009 - 05:33:56 EST

2009/2/23 Paula <>

> I don't use the concept of labor-value at all. My argument is that service
> labor does not *produce* value. If you're asking whether service workers
> sell their labor-power (whether, therefore, their labor-power *has*value), then I think the answer is yes, provided they are employed by
> capital; but this labor-power is not employed to produce commodities, and
> therefore it's not used productively.

I'm trying to show why your notion of "producing value" is problematic. If
you are following Marx and classical political economy (esp. Ricardo) then
you *are* using the concept of 'labour-value'. They took the quantity of
social labour required to reproduce commodities to be the basis of their
economic value. So when I'm saying 'labour-value' I'm mean 'value' in the
classical sense.

Now if a commodity has a labour-value it follows that the labour required to
produce it also "produces value". A service such as a flight from Stockholm
to London has a labour-value: in part embodied in the fuel, wear and tear of
the aircraft etc. and also through the labour necessarily expended by
mechanics, stewards and pilots etc. Their labour adds to the total
labour-value. They "produce value".

The same principle follows for producing a haircut. It requires a certain
quantity of social labour to reproduce. Part of it is embodied in the razor
etc. and the rest is the labour necessarily expended by the barber. This
adds to the total labour-value and thus "produces value".

This follows from the labour theory of value. No mystifyed properties of the
commodities need to be invoked here.

//Dave Z

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Received on Mon Feb 23 05:37:15 2009

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