Re: [OPE] peanut butter value-form theory

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Tue Apr 07 2009 - 05:21:02 EDT

Alejandro Agafonow wrote:
> Scientists such as Shockley, Noyce and Moore made their part, but the
> technological possibilities opened up by 20th century physics would
> not be properly explored without entrepreneurs. There's no mileage in
> having a practical technical means of producing an existing product
> more cheaply unless you have foreseen potential demand. The
> possibilities of Internet and the PC would be lost without
> entrepreneurs who foresaw potential demand taking the risk of
> exploring the merchandising of these technologies. Concerning the
> potential impact of a technology upon the well-being of people, the
> entrepreneurship role of Bill Gates and Paul Allen is essential.
The basic technology that allowed the mass production of cheap consumer
computers such as the first Apple and the IBM PC was developed for
quite other uses. The microprocessor was developed initially for
industrial control applications, and so were the raft of peripheral
chips used
on the PC. This technology develops according to Moores law, which
states that the feature size of transistors tends to shrink by 1/sqrt(2)
18 months. This technological dynamic has underpinned the whole process
of the electronics industry since the mid 1960s. If you want to understand
it you should read the chapter 'On Copying' from Babbages 'Political
Economy of Machinery and Manufactures'. Babbage and Marx had a
deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms of productivity
improvement since they analysed it as a labour process. The Austrian school
have contributed nothing significant to our understanding of the labour
process since they focus on only its superficial projection on the
screen of prices.

ope mailing list
Received on Tue Apr 7 05:30:09 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue May 12 2009 - 15:26:04 EDT