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Re: [ox-en] Robinsonades

Hi Patrick, hi all,

Patrick Anderson wrote:
Trading is usually not an "equal exchange" either because customer
prices are usually higher than the owner costs of production.  This
difference is called profit.

Contrary to what you think, average market prices are not "above cost", but
rather almost exactly "at cost" (where cost it the amount of labor required
to produce a commodity), under normal situations with sufficient
competition. The fact that capitalists can make a profit results not from
the fact that they add a surchange beyond the actual "cost" -- if they did
that, they would be unable to compete with entities that don't have a make a
profit (such as worker coops and independent freelancers), and capitalism
could never have evolved.

Instead, profit comes from the fact that capitalists don't buy the _labor_
of their employers (i.e. the results of what they have done), but their
_labor power_ (their capacity to work). The difference between the value of
labor power and and the value of labor is the source of profit. See Stefan
Meretz, "Copyfarleft – a Critique"
[], Sec. 1, for more, or
Karl Marx, Capital, for much more.

Capitalism _is_ already based on "equivalent exchange". Trying to introduce
"equal exchange" won't change a thing, since we have it already.

In a Peer Economy the dentist would be receiving a weighted labor
'credit' or 'deposit' paid by the community as a whole through some
sort of delegation committee, right ... or close?

Thus a popular task (say, programming) will end >>> up with a lower labor weight (say, 0.5), while an >>> unpopular task (say, garbage removal) will end up >>> with a high labor weight (say, 2.0).'"

I'm having trouble seeing this as anything other than State run
Socialism with my monthly stipend weighted by profession type.

There is no state, and no stipend. Read the texts again.

We need to keep in mind those that will try to 'play' the system by
pretending to be working in several fields at once to collect more
than their share while do little or none of that work.

The work you get recognized is, usually, actual work. The people or
communities who use your services (say, as a dentist), "recognize" them,
which means essential: "I/we are ready to contribute the same amount of
weighted labor as Patrick spent on my/our behalf, so Patrick can get goods
or services whose production took this amount of labor".

Hence, how much you work and in how many fields, is your own decision, and
will typically depend on your needs (how many goods you like to have).
Nobody will prevent you from working in several fields if you like to do so.

Will workers be required to clock-in?  How do we make sure people
aren't slacking off?  

If you are too slow in fixing their teeths or baking their bread, people
will prefer to go to a faster dentist or baker, for reasons of laziness
(doing so reduces the amount of labor they have to recognize and hence their
own workload). As for time measurements/estimates, I suppose that they will
usually be trust-based. Other people will probably rely on your own
estimates; but, of course, if your estimates are excessive you will appear
slow and people will prefer somebody else.

What incentive do I have to not take a 3.5 hour
lunch or an 18 month vacation?

Why shouldn't you do so if you have worked sufficiently before or
afterwards? (I suppose people will probably have to work quite little, hence
such behavior may be quite frequent.)

Capitalists strives to keep price above cost, but they can only do
that while Consumers do not have enough Capital Ownership.

No, except for monopolies or other unusual situations, the laws of market
competition drive market prices down to "cost" level, cf. above (though, of
course, every single capitalist would prefer them to be as high as
possible). Therefore, worker coops cannot out-compete capitalist companies.
And consumer cooperatives with enough capital can merely become further
capitalists, they don't change the rules of the game at all.

Best regards

|-------- Dr. Christian Siefkes --------- christian ---------
|   Homepage:   |   Blog:
|      Peer Production in the Physical World:
|------------------------------------------ OpenPGP Key ID: 0x346452D8 --
Calvin: You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet, you have to be in
        the right mood.
Hobbes: What mood is that?
Calvin: Last-minute panic.

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