Thank you Paul Cockshott for your comments. Actually, I confess a lot of
what passes for Marxist theory often seems a little vulgar to me, since,
when pushed to specify what basic categories (such as surplus-value and
commodities) actually amount to, empirically speaking, the proponents
cannot do it consistently.
I accept your example of total profits being reduced by the extent of wages
in advertising, assuming of course that advertising costs are paid directly
out of current profits, which they may not be. I came across similar
examples in environmental economics a long time ago. Your "neo-Sraffian"
concept of productive labour is certainly ingenious, and a big improvement
of our discussion. We ought to consider it seriously. I have to think about
the proposal some more before getting back to you - I still have the
feeling there is a tautology in there somewhere but I cannot pin it down
right now. My brain is fatigued after lectures on hypermedia and
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