- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Some points.

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on November 12, 1999 at 13:04:29:

Conattennated post to cover a few points, coz i can only get here twice a week (£1 a time for half an hour!).

"the difference between Red Deathy and a defeatist is...." (SDF), let me put it this way, author terry Pratchet once described 'ultra black' as the colour that you see, after charging headlong into a brick wall, in teh nano seconds before you die - this is as pointless an activity as trying to fight people with tanks, and highly trained, small, professional military forces (not mass conscript armies, we're not dealing with that here - and even a conscirpt army would have an élite core) - I am an optimist in as much as I think we can win, but barricades and street battles are not the way we are going to do it.

Barry is right, we need struggle, voiting is not enough, a vote should simply be a statement of committment, a signal that you are determined, and ready to act for revolution, that you *are* a socialist, and not simply a supporter.

Enough, I return to my quest for the metric - what do our capitalist friends think money expresses? When I say "half an hour of internet time is worth £1" what am I saying? is it a meaningful statement? I can't be saying "half an hour of internet time is as valuable to me as other things I could buy for one pound" because that would be circular, I would never say what a pound actually is.

EXPLICITLY, THAT DENNOTATIVE PHRASE IS AN EXPRESSION OF EQUALITY, A COMPARISON, i AM SAYIN x = £1 (arse) in some term or other. To be able to do this, I must have some common basis, a common feature to compare.

In the old days, money was fixed by the value of gold (hence Pound and lb, it was once a pound of gold), gold was the chosen commodity, x had a value, some feature, equal to that of a pound of Gold - surely, otherwise its a nonsense statement.

gee failed to answer the monetary calculation argument: of what value, economically, is it for me to know how many people want a commodity, as compared with a comparison of some relevent feature of the commodity.

While debating with georgists 9humourous folk), I noted that they agree with LTV, but have a slightly different formulation, that the value is 'the labour time necessary to replace the commodity", after humming and ahing, I realised this was just a different perspective, and informative one, that says exactly the same, effectively - when you think about it - as teh marxist school. All LTV imputes, is that value is a way of saying "how much effort would it cost me, to make teis item myself".

If we lived in a society, where *every* commodity contained oil, it would be rational to measure all commodities in terms of the amount of oil from the common stock is used in them: likewise, then, isn't it rational to measure all commodities in terms of the social effort involved in their production. What other common basis could there be?

After all, Adam Smith raised the question of why useless diamonds are worth more than essential water - and just think, in big cities water is scarce, its supply is heavilly restricted (especially L.A., say, or even London) so it can't be that water is plentiful. How do we determine their relative values?

How could the economy function if it was mere whimsy, simple desire that determined prices, how could we plan economically?

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup