Unproductive labor and the "Mage Heresy" II: A Reply to Fred

Murray Smith (msmith@SPARTAN.AC.BROCKU.CA)
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 14:48:44 -0500 (EST)

Thanks to Jurriaan regarding his clarification of how he would treat
unproductive government employees' wages as a component of the constant
capital flow. It's good to know he's on side with me on this issue. I want
also to express my agreement with his posts of yestderday's date replying
to Fred and Alan.

I very much appreciate Fred's post of 20 Juanuary on the costs of
unproductive labor, in which he clearly explains the rationale behind his
defense of the conventional or "standard" specification of the costs of
circulation (and by extension, perhaps, other forms of socially necessary
but unproductive labor -- "SNUL") as paid for out of (current) surplus
value. This is in opposition to the view defended by Shane Mage, Jurriaan
and myself that SNUL is more appropriately conceptualized as a component
of the constant capital flow -- as an overhead cost borne by the social
capital as a whole in order to ensure the highest possible "annual rate of
surplus value" and to maintain the "social conditions" of valorization and
capital accumulation.