Re: [OPE] "lies, damned lies, and underconsumptionist statistics"

From: Paula <>
Date: Wed Sep 29 2010 - 17:46:28 EDT

Jerry wrote:
> Many 'non-traditional' arguments get 'confused' when one conflates all
> service sectors regardless of their social form and their differing
> relation to value and surplus value.

Let's consider a classical example, insurance. What is the 'social form' and
'relation to value and surplus value' that make this sector unproductive?

Paul asked:
> how can [value] be lodged in a magnetic record in a bank's computers?

Paul, we both agree that a magnetic record has a physical existence. But
magnetic records don't present any new problems for us as compared to, say,
bank notes, credit contracts, etc. These are all forms value takes. But the
important issue is how value is created - the genetic key to the 'being' of

Jurriaan wrote:
>I think for Marx and Engels, what has "value" is the products of social
>labour ...

Not so. All labour is social, by definition. But not all products of labor
have value.

Dave wrote:
>'Embodied' is indeed a wording that misleads the reader.

On the contrary, it's a good word. It makes the point clear. A commodity
embodies value. Ergo, a commodity is a thing, a material object with an
independent body, shaped by human labor, and capable of being alienated and
appropriated. But of course not all material objects are commodities.
Certain relations of production are needed too.

To return to Paul's example, money might itself be a commodity, in which
case it embodies value (gold and silver); or it might not (a magnetic record
is not a commodity, it's physical but it's not an independent object, it
can't embody value, though it can certainly represent it - just like a poem
printed on a page might represent love, but it's not itself the love it


ope mailing list
Received on Wed Sep 29 18:12:45 2010

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Oct 02 2010 - 00:00:03 EDT