Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: D. Göçmen <>
Date: Fri Nov 13 2009 - 08:56:28 EST

 Good point, Jerry. As Marx pointed out in *Grundrisse* the idea of *free market* implies amarket without market forces even if leave out the state. Already Smith pointed out that the idea of free market and free trade is an illusion. More generally Engels, in his investigation into the concept of competition, pointed out that the division of labout resulting in private property implies some kind of monopolies and therefore power relations. Remember what says about the dision of labour and private property in Capital: The divison of labour does not require private property as in a factory but private property does always.





-----Original Message-----
From: Gerald Levy <>
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Sent: Fri, Nov 13, 2009 3:28 pm
Subject: Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

> What is different about knowledge is that it has high returns to scale,

> but as Michael has pointed out, capitalism has difficulty with all

> industries characterised by high returns to scale. It is forced to

> abandon the idea of the free market and resort to monopoly in

> these cases, whether it be railways or software publishing.

Hi Paul C:

Even where there are more competitive markets, the "free market"
doesn't exist. One can only conceive of the possibility of a free

market in the absence of a state, yet where the capital-form has

existed historically so has the state-form. "Free market capitalism"

is not a historical construct, it is an ideological one.

Regarding the point that labor has to be expended preserving

the material carriers of knowledge, that's true but it can also be

vanishingly small. What, for instance, is the labor required to
preserve a Class 6 SHDC and the data which has been stored
in it? What's even more to the point is that although there is such
preservation labor required, it doesn't correspond to the value of

the knowledge.

In solidarity, Jerry


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