Re: [OPE] Reply to critics

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Wed Oct 06 2010 - 18:15:53 EDT

Of course it is only legislation that stops the labour embodied in a repaired heart being alienated. Had chattel slavery not been outlawed there would be no bar to the alination of labour embodied in humans ... Either medical or educational inputs can be thought of this way.

--- original message ---
From: "Dave Zachariah" <>
Subject: Re: [OPE] Reply to critics
Date: 6th October 2010
Time: 9:42:29 pm

  On 2010-10-06 00:45, Paula wrote:
> No problem here, heart surgery is a service. A service is always an
> activity, not a thing. It's easy to distinguishing the two.

Firstly, a 'thing' is probably one of the most ambiguous theoretical
concepts one can think of.

Secondly, as Paul pointed out, hair cuts and heart surgeries result in
physical products; modified hair and hearts. When sold as commodities
you don't simply purchase the activity (motions etc.) that constitutes
the 'service' but its physical product, that is the use-value. Indeed,
if the physical product did not meet up to specification you would
demand money back.

The physical products --- modified hair or heart --- do however require
a certain amount of coexisting social labour. And this is the basis of
their labour-values.

Ian wrote:
> But the material distinction between things that can be stored and
> persist over time, that are alienable, and those that cannot, is of
> course important when we are thinking about stores of value, stocks of
> inventories etc. E.g., obviously haircuts could never serve as base money.
I agree with this.

//Dave Z
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Received on Wed Oct 6 18:18:30 2010

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