Re: [OPE] Reply to critics

From: Paula <>
Date: Mon Oct 25 2010 - 17:52:56 EDT

Jerry wrote:
> The labor of wage-workers employed in 'retail' is to SELL commodities.

This is just another way of admitting that the service of selling
commodities (plus being nice to customers, helping them find the bread
aisle, packing their groceries into bags, etc) is not ITSELF a commodity -
which is exactly my point, services are not commodities. If it's true of
retail labor, it's also true of clown labor.

Same applies to Paul C's statement that 'Selling and insuring do not
increase real wealth in form of use values, they act to control claims of
ownership over the use values already produced'. Here Paul is assuming that
only objects (cars), not services (selling cars, insuring cars), are
'use-values'. This also concedes my point, but the formulation is actually
incorrect. Services, as much as goods, are use-values. Insuring your car is
useful to you, just like the car itself is useful. They are both use-values,
in that sense. The difference is, an insurance policy is not an object,
therefore it can't be a materialization of abstract labor. It's a use-value,
but it's not a commodity.

I wrote:
>> And this follows from the fact that a service is not a commodity. A
>> service
>> is only a use-value, which can be provided via a commodity, or directly
>> by
>> labor.

And Jerry replied:
> THAT is what is known as a tautology.

It's not a tautology, it's a definition. You're free to disagree with it,
but please provide a coherent alternative. If you're going to argue that
services are commodities whenever the labor is exchanged with capital, then
you'll have to include insurance, retail, real estate, etc. Sorry, but you
can't have your cake and eat it.


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Received on Mon Oct 25 17:54:52 2010

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