Re: [ox-en] Robinsonades (was: Re: Role of markets)
- From: "Franz Nahrada" <f.nahrada reflex.at>
- Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 23:22:06 +0200
3 Answers to Patricks previous messages
1. Love and Business
The normal mind knows that there is a distinction between
calculating and loving, and that people in the capitalist society have a
sphere of calculating directly and another sphere where they are
allowed to follow their feelings (until they accept the "offer" of the
state to turn their feelings into a system of duties and rights).
What do you mean by "allowed to follow their feelings"? Are you
saying most people are "loving" until the "state" causes them to
right. In fact its not a "before-after" game, but an internal conflict
which often shows up as a conflict of gender perspectives. "Love" becomes
"duty to support and duty to care". On one side society is proud to
liberate the feelings of the individuals from the tight bindings of
economical constraints - on the other side the family is still the basic
reproductive unit of the society and is regulated by the state.
The state is an institution that is needed by society because society has
not reached a level to regulate itself. The state organizes conflicting
interests in the forms of rights and duties.
Is that where you think corporate foul play such as artificial
scarcity, planned obsolescence and orchestrated destruction come from?
in a way corporate freedom to make profit, as you say, which is mainly to
be interested in the difference between cost and gain, directly derives
from the state. The state participates in the entrepreneurial freedom. The
surplus is the base of political power.
In a way, we see this very clearly in the transformation from feudalism to
capitalism. Existing political powers thrive better on the separation
between a civil society accumulating wealth and capital, and a political
society which serves this civil society and dominates it at the same time.
The source of wealth "enacted capital accumulation" is unbeatable for a
political apparatus. There is a structural relation between both sides. As
you write, the means to accumulate money are not the means to provide
physical wealth for people.
Those vices arise when profit is treated as a reward for the current
Treating profit as a reward incents the destruction of all other
sources of that product because profit is actually "price above cost",
and price only stays above cost while competition is imperfect. When
each actor owns as much Capital required for the production of that
which he consumes, then price meets cost and profit hits zero.
Thats what Marx has shown in the comparison of Commodity - Money -
Commodity versus Money - Commodity - More Money. But he also clearly
states that as soon as you accept the Money - Commodity Form, you have the
germ form of M-C-M'.
One of a myriad reasons why this is inevitable: no producer knows exactly
if his production will be "realized" as value on the market. So producing
more and producing cheaper as others is a logical step. For this you need
capital, and you pay the price to capital - which is profit.
2. Altruism and Egoism
Of course no human
being wants to be wasted away simply for the sake of others that dont
Could you help me understand what you mean here?
I mean that in a voluntary agreement people will only cooperate if one
side is not abusing cooperation.
3. Value theory (Quantity)
But its absolutely different to the system where basically every
economic transaction can only happen when in the SAME transaction an
"equal value" changes hand the other direction.
When are you saying "equal value" change hands? During Trade?
Yes. thats the "law of value": if you look behind the eternal oscillation
of supply and demand, the point around which they oscillate is the amount
of labourtime which is needed to produce the commodity. Labourtime is
value, and it can only be expressed as quantity of another substance
representing labourtime. They are equivalent.
If "During Trade", then what about your argument some months ago that
price should optimally never be reduced to cost.
I did not talk about optimally. I say that the price of a commodity equals
cost plus profit. See the other thread.
How can the exchange be equal during Trade when Consumer Price is
different from Owner Costs?
I said that the marxist solution (which I still find correct) for that is
that the cost of labour is one thing, the "fresh" value that labour
produces in the production process is another thing. I simply say: you do
not have to assume that things are not exchanged for their value. The
value is normaly higher than the costs BECAUSE the product is a capitalist
commodity where costs of labour are compensated by HIGHER "fresh-value"
originated in the production process. Thus trade is still exchange of
Wouldn't the exchange be equal only when profit == 0?
No. The "fresh value" is reflected in the costs of labour plus surplus
value. The surplus value is not a violation of the equivalent exchange,
because value is the sum of transferred value (of machines, raw materials,
energy costs etc.) plus "fresh value" created by labour. On the market you
as capitalist do not buy labour, but labour-force. Labour force costs is
equal the reproduction costs of the worker. Labour has the potential to
create more value than the value of reproduction costs of the worker.
Thats the crucial point. And it all works with equal exchange, isn't that
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