Re: [OPE] doctors, barbers and vets

From: Paula <>
Date: Tue Oct 12 2010 - 17:51:55 EDT

Paul C wrote:
"I think part of the dispute ... is terminological ... In practical terms
what a surgeon and a veterinary surgeon do is very similar. They differ in
whether their patients can be marketed, so even if all their successful
patients embody additional value only some have exchange value ..."

Yes, we do seem to use the terms differently. Value seems to me to be the
more fundamental category, abstracted from all the accidents (eg supply and
demand) that go into exchange value. So I would say that a healed patient
(human or animal) embodies the labor of the healer, but not necessarily that
they have value. For them to have value they have to be commodities, they
have to be goods produced for market exchang -, eg slaves or cattle.

Paul B, thanks for the text.
I agree with the sentiment expressed in the last paragraph, concerning the
need not to 'hide' the distinction between productive and unproductive
But we differ on the specifics. It follows from my approach, for example, as
I've been saying, that I do not consider doctors productive (of value, that
is, as opposed to use-value).

It seems to me that a nation does not increase its wealth by employing more
doctors, but, on the contrary, it is able to employ more doctors the more
wealth it produces. This relation does not change if we substitute 'value'
for 'wealth', ie, if we refer specifically to capitalist society.


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Received on Tue Oct 12 17:53:30 2010

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