: SDF: Look, Piper, after the various revolutions in Nicaragua, Cuba, Guinea-Bissau etc. there have been verifiable and significant gains in literacy and in health care. I don't see why I should prove this to you here and now -- go look it up yourself.
Piper: If you look at what i wrote you'll see i wasn't asking for proof of literacy or health care, i was asking about economic weal.
: : BTW I was under the impression that we were already in a post capitalist era (i.e. corporatism). You know, ownership and use of capital separated, obsession with paper profits, obsession with profit motive, relocating industry to third world for cheap labour. I'm not sure a Marxist revolution in such an environment wouldn't just result in mass poverty (supporting structures have been removed).
: SDF: "Result in mass poverty"? Huh? Isn't there mass poverty already? Latin America? Africa? SE Asia? As for "supporting structures," is some reactionary alien power going to spirit all the factories and boats away to Mars if they're occupied by the working class? You aren't pretending that the current mode of economic exploitation (i.e. imperialism) has anything that wasn't already there in the 19th century, clearly, so what's that about?
: "Post-capitalism," BTW, is a chic phrase of NASDAQ stockholders who like drinking lattes at Borders while reading WIRED. Since the theory of surplus value holds up now as before, "post-capitalism" is merely a "new and improved" sticker placed upon the product "capitalism." I guess they had to change the name because the rate of ideological profit was sinking...
Piper: Try thus then...
"There is one sort of labour which adds to the value of the subject upon which it is bestowed; there is another which has no such effect."
Thus he distinguishes productive and unproductive labour. He says:
"The labour of some of the most respectable orders in society is, like that of menial servants, unproductive of any value, and does not fix or realize itself in any permanent subject, or venible commodity, which endures after that labour is past, and for which an equal quantity of labour could otherwise be procured"
Smith's basic argument is that the unproductive live off the productive.
The unproductive were in the main for Smith- aristocracy, courtiers, professionals, land and property owners, bankers, etc. Today we can throw in the managerial elites and the service industry as also being part of the unproductive class.
Now, I have seen estimates that the managerial class runs between 30-50% and it is one of the things that keeps the economy in depression. This is a lot more than in Smith's day.
As i see it that's gonna be a problem for Marxists.
I understand BTW that more industry has been moved to other countries than previously in history (japan is i think the exception), its one of the reason why we have a lot of unemployment in the western world.
BTW I was under the impression that capitalists didn't like the term 'corporatism', association with facists in Italy and all that stuff...