Re: [OPE] The Crisis of the Euro

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Fri Jan 23 2009 - 17:21:21 EST

Gerald Levy wrote:
> The quote ignores the fact that much of the "protection, security, and
> defense" labor
> produces means of production which retain a use-value over a longer
> period of time. So,
> actually it is a false claim: the labor employed this year on those
> activities can purchase
> "protection, security, and defense for the year (and years, JL) to come".

Private guards and the construction of fighter jets do not produce means
of production for the rest of the economy. The fact that they may
maintain the social order or 'stability' does not alter the fact that
they are economically parasitic, just like all the King's horses and all
the King's men (literally the case in Sweden). Unlike the basic sector
such activities cannot reproduce themselves economically. Hence they
cannot 'purchase' the protection, security, and defense for the year to

Moreover, as consumers of the surplus product they impede accumulation
of real capital and therefore productivity growth which not only affects
the living standard of the working class as a whole but the capitalist
economy: if productivity growth is insufficient the distribution of
profit rates falls towards zero.

> The state also has expenditures on transportation, education,
> communication, public health, etc.
> Are these also over the long-run "detrimental" to the development of
> capitalism? I think it would be
> more accurate to say that over the long-term these exprnditures not
> only assist capitalist
> development but come to be viewed - when placed in an international
> context - as necessary.
> If one capitalist nation spends state funds on developing an efficient
> transportation system and
> another doesn't, which capitalist nation over the long-term has the
> competitive advantage? I think
> the answer is pretty clear - even though over the *short-term* such
> expenditures might result
> in less accumulation.

I agree completely: such activities are productive on the 'basic goods'

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Fri Jan 23 17:23:11 2009

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