- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on May 28, 1999 at 08:03:21:

In Reply to: Cap'un? posted by Red Deathy on May 26, 1999 at 19:07:14:

: management are labour, and are necessary Labour, but they are not productive Labour- as much as house servants and house-wives are Labour, but not productive Labour. This is not to position productive above unproductive, rather its simply demonstrates that which is preferred by the current system.

Management are essential to production, even in 'self managed teams' the role of managing is an essential. 'productive labor' does not exist unless organised by a managerial dynamic. Hence it does create value - it is a primary engine, away with the materialism that says only the physical hand that moves is the value creator! The labor is sold onto the open market, the good you buy is a package deal of all those plans, structures, organisation, investment and the sheer physical / mental labor of engineers, factory workers etc. By saying that accounting, for example, does not *directly* create value is to say that the impulse from your brain to your lungs does not directly cause oxygen to enter blood - its a dichotomisation of the holistic nature of producing. It does have individual components and however difficult to evaluate each component is part of the value adding process. When you buy an ice cream you buy the company accountants time as part of its value, even though you dont need to 'demand' any more than an ice cream.

: Or it could be the winnings off gambling, historc inheritance from the slave and opium trades, etc. Its doesn't matter where it comes from (and usually we aren't supposed to ask)

It does according to Marxist morality, if what you gain by labor value is yours by right then investing this is yours by right. The value is gained, created by merit (incidently, this also means that giving it to your heirs is also legitimate, however lazy they might become)

: very few are workers who have thrifted up to that level.

Most, when viewed via their savings & investments with agent financial companies.

: And it remains, that money is invested in work, of which teh investor plays no part-

Then you deny that a worker get his labor value, because you would be denying his choice in what to do with it. the investment sum equates to the effort of whoever created it, the value doesnt vanish - its still there however distant it is from the individual who made it and has it as savings or investments. It isnt 'cheating'

: Indeed, but these companies must behave with our money in teh same way as would a private investor, and so it just turns into a sort of shcitzophrenia whereby the investors exploit themselves on behalf of some imaginary capitalist

Think about this, it means each person (however small their savings) is gaining from investments they make as well as work they do (labor). Instead of being 'exploitated' they are directing their labor value into investments in order to yield higher return. Willingly.

: whereas some cream off millions for themselves- and they are tiny in number- 10% of the british population owns 50%+ of the marketable wealth.

Thats always amused me, how anyone who is gaining signicantly more than the average is said to be 'creaming off' whilst anyone at average of below is said to be engaged in 'hard graft'. Such outmoded stereotypes. Where are those stats?, I suspect you would find the 1% figure more indicative. The 10% includes doctors, accountants, airline pilots, deep sea divers and other professions which can hardly qualify for the exploitative 'lazy capitalist pig' stereotype.

: No, because no-one can "earn" a million pounds, an entrepreneur who makes that much, even if he worked hard, he still needed to extract teh surplus value of others to get that million (or have an incredibly rare skill).

You'll note that very few people do earn a million pounds, so the proposal that they require "incredibly rare skill" sounds a very possible explanation. Following your earlier points about some activities not being value adding I can see where you are coming from, however as noted, I have already disagreed with this.

: it would nullify the claims that entrepreneurs take all the risks.

They take bigger risks, but taken (as I said) as being threatening to their ability to buy food and shelter most would seek to limit their risk exposure (a good way being to share it in a limited company with willing participants).

: But the owners (investor) in the firm didn't create the jobs, he just paid a commissioned investor to shuffle his cash for him.

Why is that wrong, remember the owned money represents the values already created which then goes into an opportunity to create more jobs. Others arent workign for free, their working for their part and your moeny (which represents your work) is working for its part.

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