- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Objectively demonstrable use value.

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on November 03, 1999 at 14:37:15:

In Reply to: More conceptual goulash posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on November 03, 1999 at 13:07:49:

: SDF: Actually, the LTV provides a circular, or tautological, proof of "exploitation" because of the way it defines the word "exploitation".

Another reason. definitions are touched upon later too.

: SDF: But the entrepreneur does not WORK for his or her profit! Investment is NOT WORK! Basically what you're saying is that you reject the LTV out of hand, because you wish to characterize profits as wages.

What I am saying is that without investment the rest doesnt occur. I add that as a model it matters not where the investment comes from, only that it does come. You can argue that it is unfair, that the person whose innovation allows for the design of product/manufacture should ask no more than any one else, or that the investment should belong equally to all - but that isnt the point here. reagrdless of who owns it it is the investment that enables the rest.

The 'expolitation' levied at the private investor is therefore only an issue over whether he ought to be 'allowed' (by whom?) to own private property or not.

The best example is the self employed man who has/is his own investment and to whom all returns are. he cannot be exploited, but his investment made possible the return.

: SDF: Here, abstraction is called reality, and reality abstraction. Exchange values are not the embodiment of use-values,

They're the reflection of, expression of - thats a different concept. Sure its lousy but its the onlt data gathered - so people who want to calculate the extent to which they are being 'exploited' may as well give up now before engaging in the impossible.

: SDF: Gee, that's YOUR definition of exploitation you're working with. You have proved nothing to those who define exploitation differently.

Any definition of exploitation can be proof-proof if sufficiently different. We should perhaps always attach copious explanetory notes whenever using a term such as that to express the definition!

: Exploitation defined as the appropriation of surplus labor without remuneration to the laborer exists BY DEFINITION under capitalism.

And my argument is that it means little. The real issue only whether investment is something that a private individual can or cant do. If he can then the investment enables the product sold and its components are necessary as ingredients not as the primary enabler. Use-value and exchnage value cant be used to return 'sums' on exploitation.

: SDF: Exchange value is not the concrete evidence of use value.

Ok, its the only evidence because this;

" The concrete evidence of use value is in observed instances of people using things. "

Is just observational, anecdotal, subjective and open to 6 billion intepretations - unless you care to objectively analyse, classify and prioritise use-values for objects in contexts - which isnt very 'democratic' becuase it over-rides the whim of the boudary-free vote.

On you bike - you did have to exchange something to get it, so the seller may reasonably conclude 'i bet he had a sue for that, certainly more use than for $200 of wheat' evidenced by the fact you bought the bike and not wheat with the finite $200 (or whatever)

: SDF: Please read Marx's CRITIQUE OF THE GOTHA PROGRAMME in order to find out that the predominant socialist critique of capitalism, Marxism, is not based on egalitarianism. And perhaps, sometime in the distant future perhaps, please stop mischaracterizing socialism.

Well, maybe I'll do so when 'the end of history' arrives. Meanwhile I'm responding to claims for egalitarianism and 'fairness' associated with socialism - accurately or not.

: SDF: Such an ethical stance also places no priority on anyone's "desire" for the basic necessities of life, thus it makes no criticism of societies where large numbers of people are needlessly dying of starvation while others hoard food. Such an ethical stance furthermore refuses to acknowledge the "objective basis" of the "desire" of the starving for sustenance. Positions like this correspond to nothing more than relativism, and they evidence nothing more than the ethical egoism of the well-fed. No wonder Stoller is so angry.

You seem to have misread that as being my view - it isnt. I do think that bread can be shown to be more important than yachts by referring to objective standards of reality - but to enact that one must be prepared to be authoritarian with those who simply 'vote' for yachts regardless - so how do we deal with that one?

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