[OPE-L] workers' consumption and capitalists' consumption

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Jun 02 2006 - 08:38:35 EDT

> I would take the view that consumption by capitalists
> or workers is destructive of value. The value of what
> they consume does not get back into the process of
> value production.

Hi Phil,

(I'll answer without reference to Sraffa.)

The consumption of  the value of commodities by
workers does go back into the process of value production
because it forms a necessary moment in the reproduction
of labour-power and, hence, value reproduction.  You
see it as "destructive of value" but this is, imo, one-sided:
it is true that consumption  is destructive of value to the
extent that the value and use-value of commodities are
exhausted/destroyed, but that same consumption
_reproduces_ value to the extend that it allows for the
reproduction of the commodity labour-power and hence
forms a pre-condition  for continued value production.

This contrasts, in a sense, to capitalist consumption.  On
the one hand,  the individual consumption of surplus-value
by capitalists diminishes the rate of the productive consumption
of surplus-value and hence the accumulation of  capital. But, on
the other hand, capitalist consumption is required for the
reproduction of the capitalist _class_ and in that sense forms
a necessary requirement for _capitalist_ production.

In solidarity, Jerry

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