- Capitalism and Alternatives -

quick clarification (with actual response!)

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on November 30, 1999 at 10:28:52:

In Reply to: Again... posted by Red Deathy on November 29, 1999 at 15:01:20:

: I have been, throughout this 'thread' asking you to account for the equation x = £1, or to put it another way, to explain what money is, and whether or not it is itself a commodity bearing value.

Right - let me clarify - I know time is literally money for you now RD so here goes.

You can describe £1 quite rightly in terms of labor, I can describe £1 quite rightly in terms of individual economic choices. Neither precludes the other. Sorry for any misunderstading if I appeared to be answering your posts as if you were saying '£1' had no role individual economic behaviour.

: I do not think, per se, that consumer choices are necessary for producing a model of production, we can assume need...

Perhaps not, but it is essential for descibing economic activity as it presents currently.

: I am not saying that LTV isnt useful in describing various broad economic phenonoma, dont
imply that I am.


Ah good. You see I quite liked what Ricardo had to say on the matter - but as our revisiting Joel said it just doesnt describe the behaviour of 'economic entities'. That was pretty much my major point

: The rate of Exploitation is the ratio of profit to wages within a firm.

And this was my minor point. No one worker can appreciate his own 'exploitation' and a mass of people do not 'experience' in any consious collective sense.

:Shouting 'exploitation' is like shouting 'police brutality'. No one is going to listen unless you
show the size of your bruises. Its not 'dead fucking easy' when people ask for evidence.

: No, you're making the mistake of assigning an emotive value to exploitation, as many people do, as being unjust labour conditions, or unfair contracts, I am saying that exploitation is the inherent character of the sale of labour power, even super rich footballers one millions a year are exploited. Exploitation is a concern for the ęsthetic value of human life.

I wasnt really meaning it as an emotive concept - I was demonstrating by analogy that a person cant say 'look I've been exploited' and offer specific evidence of his situation - only a general theory.

: Indeed, and the reason why we cannot produce value without the factories of the ruling class, is because we are part of a propertyless class whose existence is to be exploited by the owners...

Thats great (well, maybe not) as a general guide, but it doesnt help ordinary Joe identify his own exploitatation except as conceptual model apart concrete amounts. he cant say 'by x amount'. I think this represents a stumbling block to motivation to revolt, assuming it is genuinely latent in the working class, which I doubt

: No, because if tehre is no compulsion of poverty, no control by wages, where work is voluntary, it becomes self-activity, the self-ownership of one's life activity - we currently sell our life activity to an employer...

This seems to coincide with SDFs point above (responding to my exploitation post), and we all would differ from Stollers vanguardism and necessary authority in this regard. It relies, as we said before, upon everyone (virtually) deciding this is how they want to live - and thats where I think the insurmountable barrier lies which revolutionary forces seek to stamp out with compulsion.

: No, because the workers would own teh surplus value themselves, in as much as no-one owns the surplus value, tehre would be no rofits, no surplus to appropriate.

Where the products users are decided 'en masse' the producers themselves have a very limited say in the matter, being only a tiny part of the mass, and so are not really the 'owners' of their own produce. their relation to their work - unless the whole society runs on that lovely voluntary basis as you propose - is virtually identical to the current situation.

: Worker owned co-ops just basically re-create an imaginary capitalist within the system of the market, social ownership means no market.

Pretty much what SDF said, I agree that the solution would be voluntary everything and add that anything else (as seems to be proposed by revolutionary vangaurdists like Stoller) is nothing but the beginning of yet another terrifying despotism.

Changed your mind about ICs yet? I think that's, realisitically, the only way socialism as described by you is ever going to be even slightly possible.

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