Re: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Wed Feb 18 2009 - 07:00:50 EST

2009/2/18 Paula <>

> Dave, you need to abandon this line of argument. If I quoted Marx on
> commodity fetishism it was only because the quote follows logically from my
> starting point, not because my starting point is the quote itself. I have
> already explained what my starting point is - my view that social wealth
> consists in produced objects, not just physical effects, so that haircuts,
> dances, and shop workers' smiles, while useful, social and material, do not
> constitute social wealth. The value of produced objects is then the specific
> form this social wealth takes under capitalism.

Paula, I'm only trying identify the axioms that you have set up and the
subsequent deductions since I believe they lead to wrong conclusions. Note
that I'm not interested in the issue of "productive labour" here only the
argument that services have no labour-value. This argument rests in my view
on a mistaken, or at least poorly motivated, concept of labour-value that
serves to re-mystify what political economy has clarified since the days of
Adam Smith.

You agree, for instance, that producing a certain type of cars requires some
quantity of social labour-time. But similarly, producing a certain type of
car reparation requires some quantity of social labour-time. A car
reparation of a certain type has a labour-value, otherwise mechanics could
spend any amount of time to perform it and expect any pay for the service.
Labour-value is *an objective social cost of production*. If services had no
labour-value their market prices would not be anchored in the process of
production and would be all over the place like prices on the stock market.

//Dave Z

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Received on Wed Feb 18 07:03:10 2009

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