Re: [OPE] Reply to critics

From: Paula <>
Date: Fri Oct 01 2010 - 18:15:35 EDT

Ian wrote:

"There's no 'maybe' about it. Marx is very explicit that labor-value is not a physical property".

As I recall Marx uses the term 'value', not 'labor-value'. And the substance of value is definitely physical, it's abstract labor. As a value, a commodity is an objectification, crystallization or congealment of this labor. But this can't possibly be the case with services, because services aren't objects (though of course they have a physical existence, like everything else in the universe).

"Some properties are not reducible to physical properties. For example, whether a person is married or divorced ...".

It's not what I said. What I said was that "perhaps all physical properties of material objects are relational properties in any case".

But if you want to talk about the properties of people, I would go along with much of what Paul said, and further. Even the connection of the Pope to his flock is in some respects physical, because religion is in large part determined by material needs and conditions.

More generally, it's wrong to counterpose 'social' to 'physical' as if these were mutually exclusive categories. Quite the contrary, in economic life they determine each other. Take the simple commodity as an example of an object that is simultaneously social and physical.


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Received on Fri Oct 1 18:17:19 2010

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