Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 09:03:06 EDT

Paul C. wrote: 
I don't see why Phil is opposed to the notion of a material


I am opposed too inasmuch as this material surplus is conceived as something different from (labour) time surplus. Time, and so labour time, is a material fact; time is also one of the most important variables in physics. Labour time can be applied to, and conceived of, every commodity, including services. No other physical variable can be predicated of all commodities. People defending a notion of "material surplus" in production (different from time) should tell us in terms of what magnitude could we compute it: weigh, volume, surface...? It should be the same physical property and it should be present in any commodity, including services.

Moreover, can ayone say which is the surplus obtained when for instance transforming a Ton. of ore gold in a jewel of 10 grams of pure gold?


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Paul Cockshott 
  Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 11:58 AM
  Subject: Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

  I would be keen to defend the notion of a basic sector.


  In reply to Ian.

  Sraffa says that in principle the wage should be split

  into a portion necessary for the reproduction of labour

  power, and a portion that constitutes part of the surplus

  that can be struggled over. I think this is certainly correct.

  If one took that view of it, the basic sector would include

  those products whose production was necessary to the

  reproduction of the working population.


  I am unconvinced that things would be materially changed

  by expressing things as continuous flows rather than

  as annual rounds of production. One would still get

  R as a variable expressing now the maximal instantaneous

  rate of expansion of the economy as a time derivative

  rather than expressing the expansion as an annual



  I don't see why Phil is opposed to the notion of a material



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