Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: D. Göçmen <>
Date: Sun Nov 15 2009 - 10:10:45 EST

 Dear Paul, the paragraph I was thinking of is this (WN, IV.ii.43/p. 471):

"To expect, indeed, that the freedom of trade should ever be entirely
restored in Great Britain, is as absurd as to expect that an Oceana or
Utopia should ever be established in it. Not only the prejudices of the
* publick, but what is much more unconquerable, the private interests of
many individuals, irresistibly oppose it. Were the officers of the army to
oppose with the same zeal and unanimity any reduction in the number of
forces, with which master manufacturers set themselves against every law
that is likely to increase the number of their rivals in the home market;
were the former to animate their soldiers, in the same manner as the latter
enflame their workmen, to attack with violence and outrage the proposers
of any such regulation; to attempt to reduce the army would be as dangerous
as it has now become to attempt to diminish in any respect the
monopoly which our manufacturers have obtained against us. This
monopoly has so much increased the number of some particular tribes of
them, that, like an overgrown standing army, they have become formid-
[2oT]able to the government, and upon many occasions intimidate the
legislature, s9 The member of parliament who supports every proposal for
strengthening this monopoly, is sure to acquire not only the reputation of
understanding trade, but great popularity and influence with an order of
men whose numbers and wealth render them of great importance. If he
opposes them, on the contrary, and still more if he has authority enough to
be able to thwart them, neither the most acknowledged probity, nor the
highest rank, nor the greatest publick services can protect him from the
most infamous abuse and detraction, from personal insults, nor sometimes
from real danger, arising from the insolent outrage of furious and disappointed





-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Bullock <>
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Sent: Sat, Nov 14, 2009 1:36 am
Subject: Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

Dogan... have you refs to Adam Smith saying this...
ie 'illusion'?


Paul B.

----- Original Message -----

  D. Göçmen


Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 2:11

Subject: Re: [OPE] intermission: value of



With minor editing

"Good point, Jerry. As Marx pointed out in *Grundrisse* the idea of *free market*
  implies a market without market forces even if we 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 Marx 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
Subject: Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

  What is different about knowledge is that it has high returns to
> 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
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
the knowledge.
In solidarity,
  mailing list



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