Re: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Paula <>
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 20:38:01 EST

Dave: "Goods and services have economic value because they require expenditure of human labour."
Ian: "But hairdressing labor exchanges for money. Money represents abstract labor, human labor-power divested of all its concrete manifestations."

Both of the above views lead to the conclusion that all labor employed by capital is productive - since all of it is exchanged for money and all of it is an expenditure of human labor.

Paul C: "How do you figure that?"

Are you referring to my statement that 'the labor performed by a servant for his master is social'? This follows from the very nature of a 'service' - a use-value created by one person (or group of persons) for another, either directly through useful labor or mediated by an object.

Ian: In all seriousness, if I produce a widget that lasts intact for 1 year have I therefore added to the "wealth" of the nation during that year? If I produce a haircut that lasts for 2 weeks have I also added to the "wealth" of the nation during those 2 weeks? I am just trying to understand. Maybe I'm missing something.

What you (and some others) are missing is the fact that my definition of productive labor has nothing to do with how long the effects of labor last. If you get a very cool haircut and thanks to it you are successful in an audition and go on to become a famous movie star, the effects of the haircut might last you a whole lifetime. But this is all to do with use-value, not value.

Dave: Moreover, your theory gives no explanation to what regulates the prices of services.

True; I haven't looked into that yet. But take a service we all agree is unproductive, for example the services of a financial adviser. What regulates its price?


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Received on Tue Mar 3 20:40:04 2009

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