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Social Reproduction

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twc
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Social Reproduction

Social Reproduction

Social reproduction is what humanity engages in through continual necessity.

Social reproduction comprises three indispensable sub-processes:

    social-reproduction ≡
        production-Ⓦ → distribution-Ⓦ → consumption-Ⓦ   ↻  (1)

where

 Ⓦ  represents social wealth: communal goods and services;
 →  indicates “flows into”;
 ↻  indicates “flows back to the starting sub-process”.

Cycle (1) expresses that:   society reproduces itself by producing, distributing and consuming social wealth.

The necessity of cycle (1) is the source of the determinism of our social being. [Marx was the first person to recognize the social necessity of cycle (1), and to build a deterministic science of society — the materialist conception of history — founded upon this social necessity.]

The aim of social reproduction as a cyclic process is consumption of social wealth Ⓦ by the whole community:
 • A ruling class is not essential to this aim.
 • Social classes are not essential to this aim.
 • The market is not essential to this aim.

History of Social Reproduction

Communal struggles over ownership and control of the means upon which cycle (1) rests have split an originally united community into antagonistic social classes comprising:
 (a) those of the ruling classes, who own and control,
 (b) those of the working classes, who do not own and control,
the means upon which cycle (1) rests. [Declaration of Principles, item 1.]

The necessity for the rest of society to produce and distribute for the benefit of the ruling class arises directly out of the ruling class's effective ownership and control of reproductive cycle (1).

Those who possess the basis of cycle (1) do not produce [and distribute], and those who produce [and distribute] do not possess the basis of cycle (1). [Declaration of Principles, item 2.]

In the historical development of cycle (1), the ruling class has been transformed into a capitalist class that now legally owns and politically controls the means of social reproduction. The capitalist ruling class has transformed cycle (1) into a process for reproducing capital (cycle 2, below).

Capital Reproduction

Capital reproduction comprises four indispensable sub-processes:

    capital-reproduction ≡
        production-Ⓢ → distribution-
                ➚ profit Ⓢ
           ⇥ exchange  [= market]
                ➘ consumption  ↻    (2)
where

 Ⓢ  represents surplus value;
 ⇥  indicates “conditional suspension of distribution”;
 ➚ and ➘  indicate “conditional flow of distribution”;
The essential capitalist condition is “only if communal wealth can be syphoned off by the capitalist class [in Marxian terms, only if surplus value Ⓢ can be realized by the capitalist class]”.

Cycle (2) expresses:   capitalist society reproduces itself by producing and distributing surplus value.

Exchange is essential to the cycle of capital reproduction. It is the capitalist-class imposed mechanism through which the capitalist class realizes surplus value [profit] from the original social process cycle (1).

The aim of capital reproduction is surplus value for the capitalist class. Profit is the form in which surplus value appears to capitalist class consciousness.

Consumption by the working class is not the aim if cycle (2). Working-class consumption must be tolerated because a parasite can never destroy its host without destroying itself.

In cycle (2), working-class consumption is essential both to the creation of surplus value in production and to the realization of surplus value in exchange. Communal members who work are always essential to social reproduction, and by implication to cycle  (2), and so must be permitted to consume.

Marx conceives reproductive cycle (2) as an autonomous-and-independent stage in the directed life history of social reproductive cycle (1). Cycle (2) modifies the determinacy of cycle (1), but cycle (2) can never escape the bounds of the fundamental determinacy of cycle (1).

[Marx's Capital is a study of reproductive cycle (2).]

Capitalist Market

Capital is a process of wealth extraction that the capitalist class superimposes for its class benefit upon the socially-necessary process of wealth creation for the whole community. Capital is parasitic upon cycle (1).

The capitalist class raises its own creation, exchange, as a social barrier between distribution and consumption. Exchange is a formally inessential stoppage to the smooth functioning of cycle (1), but a practically essential stoppage for the capitalist class to achieve its class aim of syphoning off social wealth from cycle (1).

Exchange is commonly known as the capitalist market. The capitalist market is where capital is realized as an apparently wealth-creating substance. It is capitalism's holy grail — its realm of wealth transubstantiation.

To operate as a wealth extractor, the capitalist market must impede communal wealth flow. It must close down communally essential cycle (1) whenever and wherever the capitalist class cannot syphon off capitalist-class wealth from it.

The market is entirely parasitic upon cycle (1). It is powerless without cycle (1). As a parasite, the market's sole purpose is to divert essential wealth flows from the communal body to the community's parasite.

In effect the capitalist class has coerced the market into its very own parasitic creature for streaming communal wealth from the communal body to its own avaricious self.

Capitalist Class False-consciousness

Social false-consciousness arises from misconceiving that which is essential to our social being cycle (1) [or variants of it such as cycle (2)] as a mere sub-process of it.

Capitalist class false-consciousness conceives our social being through the exchange [profit and the market] sub-process of reproductive cycle (2) — the significant social sub-process for the capitalist class:

    capitalist-class-false-consciousness ≡
                ➚ profit Ⓢ
             exchange  [= market]
                ➘ consumption  ↻    (3)

[Capitalist neoclassical economics is based on sub-process (3).]

Incommensurability

Socialist class-consciousness conceives our social being from the standpoint of reproductive cycles (1) and (2). Capitalist class-consciousness conceives our social being from the standpoint of sub-process (3).

A conceptual gulf necessarily arises directly out of trying to conceive the socialist case from the conceptually incommensurable capitalist viewpoint — from conceiving the whole from the standpoint of a part.

[The reverse process — conceiving a part from the standpoint of the whole — is easy for us.]

Social Relations and Consciousness

As continually recurring processes, cycles (1) and (2) impose deterministic bounds on the necessary social relations required to keep these processes functioning. These indispensable social relations in turn constitute our social being — the determiner of our consiousness — Marx's "social being determines consciousness".

Considerations that arise from social reproductive cycle (1) are central to socialism, and will be examined in subsequent posts.

twc
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Joined: 20/05/2012

David Harvey Accuses Marx of “Arbitrary” Value Accounting

David Harvey’s unprecedented video lectures on Marx’s Capital [http://davidharvey.org] contain deep flaws that arise from his serious doubts over Marx’s materialist conception of history and the foundational role that it plays in Capital.

Nevertheless, Professor Harvey clearly describes the aspects of Marx’s Capital that trouble him beyond his capacity to understand them. He thereby simplifies the critical task of any reviewer of his course who understands how Marx grounds Capital on the materialist conception of history.

In a Q&A session within lecture 8 for Volume 2, David Harvey reiterates his utter bafflement over why the labour associated with distribution is socially necessary, while that associated with exchange is not.

Q&A — starting 53m:30s into the lecture

Question [Interviewer]

  • In Chapter 14 of Volume 2, Marx singles out “communication” and “transportation” as “special sectors” that have important knock-on effects upon the rest of the economy. How do you think about Marx’s approach to these two sectors?

Answer [David Harvey]

  1. At first sight it seems a little strange.
  2. Marx says “most things that go on in the marketing process are not productive of value”.
  3. “They are necessary costs of circulation”.
  4. But, with transport and communication, Marx says “No, they add value”.
  5. It’s often seemed rather curious to me why he decided that they were productive of value, and retailing was not.
  6. Marx’s argument is that a commodity is not complete until it has arrived at market. [If it’s at the factory gate, it’s not complete because it hasn’t got to its market place yet.]
  7. On the other hand, there’s a separate kind of addition of value that has nothing to do with the original production process.
  8. It’s a complicated kind of argument he’s making here.
  9. I’m sometimes not sure it all adds up right.

Still Poisonous Academic Context

What is striking about David Harvey’s noncommittal waffle — make up your mind, Prof. — is its serene academic unconcern over finding Marx’s value theory incomprehensible, and so nonchalantly disposable.

The understandable context, of course, is that attacks on Marx’s value theory became a mark of academic pride after Baran and Sweezy (1966) resurrected Bortkewicz’s Marxian demolition accounting for [but actually against] Marx’s value theory, and attained their zenith when genial Meek and hostile Steedman (1977) turned sympathetic Sraffa (1960) diametrically against Marx’s value theory.

Thanks to Andrew Kliman (2006), that context has been well and truly subverted, and these assaults upon Marx’s value theory should really have lapsed into history. Except they haven’t, and academic vestiges of them persist, with varying degrees of hostility [e.g. Steve Keen].

Reproductive Cycles

David Harvey’s confusion over Marx’s value accounting is best understood by reference to reproductive cycles (1) and (2), and their capitalist [mis]conception (3), quoted here from the previous post:

Quote:
social-reproduction ≡
    production → distribution → consumption ↻ (1)

Quote:
capital-reproduction ≡
     production → distribution
              ➚ profit
         ⇥ exchange  [= market]
              ➘ consumption  ↻ (2)

Quote:
capitalist-class-false-consciousness ≡
              ➚ profit
           exchange  [= market]
              ➘ consumption  ↻ (3)

The Materialist Conception of History is the Theoretical Foundation of Capital

Of course, David Harvey can’t formulate his bewilderment in terms of our cycles (1) and (2) because he has already dismissed the materialist conception of history as plain wrongheaded [“reductionist” in his terms] — an approach that prevents him from taking Marx’s claim seriously that the materialist conception of history is absolutely foundational.

To us, Marx means exactly what he says in his famous Preface that the materialist conception of history is the “general conclusion at which I arrived and which, once reached, became the guiding principle of my studies”. If the materialist conception of history is flawed then so is most of Capital.

David Harvey mistakenly confuses circulation [the transformation of capital through all its forms, the most obvious being the tangible ones of commodity and money] with distribution [the movement of commodities from their productive “source”, e,g. a mine, farm or factory, to their consumptive “sink”, the consumer].

In his confusion, he blends distribution into exchange — an understandably capitalist misconception. Despite Marx, he misconceives capitalist reproduction from the narrow standpoint of the capital-reproductive sub-process exchange [cycle (3)].

Capital-reproductive cycle (2) makes it abundantly clear that distribution facilitates [→] circulation, while exchange impedes [⇥] it. The two are not identical as he assumes. They are fundamentally antagonistic.

Thus his limited viewpoint generates an implied accusation that Marx adopts “arbitrary” value accounting practices in Capital — a very serious charge indeed!

While seemingly innocent, this episode is characteristic of the long line of ultimately mischievous anti-Marxian accusations that arise from confusion and misunderstanding.

David Harvey well knows what Marx says, but arbitrarily selects those bits of Marx that appeal to his still bourgeois-clouded mind. Marx is all or nothing. Marx is a scientist who is never arbitrary. David Harvey, however, is. His own arbitrary selectivity is the onlie begetter of his claim of arbitrariness.

Realizing Surplus Value is a Cost to the Capitalist — the Market is a Drain on Production

The capitalist market is not just a barrier to distribution — as we see from the circulation of capital, cycle (2) — but the labour and means of production consumed in setting up the market and realizing surplus value impose a gigantic drain on production. These two observations are proof positive that the market is a parasite imposed-upon and living-off an absolute social necessity — cycle (1).

The economic cost of the gargantuan capitalist mechanism of exchange is something way beyond David Harvey’s comprehension, but it is plainly there for all to see in Marx. Value associated with the parasitic edifice of the capitalist market is negative — not “additive” in any way at all as David Harvey thinks, but rather “subtractive”. The market is — how shocking — a cost to capital.

The reason, of course, lies in the deterministic necessity of social-reproductive cycle (1). That is fundamental to social reproduction. It is the inescapable invariant of social reproduction.

Though capitalist-reproductive cycle (2) is autonomous and independent, it is ultimately subservient to the determinism of cycle (1). This subservience relays to cycle (2) the purely dependent determinism of a parasite that is ultimately bound to a genuinely deterministic process, which it must preserve in order to preserve itself.

The determinism of the circulation of capital — the blather about “unseen hands” — the patently false assertions about “market efficiency” — derives solely from the necessity for a parasite to preserve its host.

The proof that Marx sees the circulation of capital from the standpoint of cycle (2) is that he sees all labour and means of production associated with exchange [the market] as a cost to capital. Precisely the destructive role of a parasite.

In other words, Marx sees the market as a necessary cost to capitalism. He sees it as destructive to value, and any labour or means of production involved in exchange [the market] as mathematically negative value, or value destroying, not creating.

Since labour and means of production in the advanced capitalist world are increasingly associated with exchange [the market], a huge proportion of labour is now destructive of value. This is entirely so in capitalist terms.

Marx’s “Socially Necessary” refers to Cycle (1) — Exchange is not Socially Necessary

William Morris and Robert Tressall long ago showed that labour and means of production associated with exchange were unnecessary for social reproduction. But Marx had already shown that, in capitalist terms, they were essentially destructive of value — the very thing the capitalist seeks.

If the costs of marketing are too high, distribution falters, and so production grinds to a halt. Society cannot live off exchange — only the capitalist class can. Society cannot live off the market — only the capitalist class can.

The parasite must bear the burden of its parasitism. The capitalist must carry the cost of extracting surplus value. Capitalists don’t get to consume all the surplus value that arises in production and distribution because those pesky workers engaged in exchange must consume part of it. And, shockingly, their labour is not productive of surplus value, but effectively consumptive of it!

The modern capitalist class employs a vast destructive labour force economically analogous to the drone Roman proletariat, but one that is actively engaged in extracting surplus value for the capitalist class, and therefore consuming what rightly belongs to the “deprived” capitalist class.

What a degrading social system it is for workers of the world that it must of necessity employ the relatively well-to-do workers of the advanced capitalist world to exploit the relatively impoverished workers of the developing capitalist world to maintain the extremely well-to-do capitalist ruling class of the world in the luxury that these world-class parasites claim as a social — but actually their class — right!

Re-stated at the Level of David Harvey’s Discussion

David Harvey naturally states the reproduction of capital in Marxian value terms as value-schema (4):

  M — C ··· P ··· C′ — M′             (4)

where

 M = value in its money form;
 C = value in its commodity form;
 P = the process of producing surplus value:
   production → distribution    [as in cycle (1)];
 M′ and C′ = money and commodity forms expanded with surplus value.

As does Marx, David Harvey divides the value of the commodity C into socially-necessary means of production MP and socially-necessary labour power LP, value-schema (5):

       MP
  M — C ≺  ··· P ··· C′ — M′          (5)
       LP

We’ll now make explicit the “socially-unnecessary” [or Marxian value destructive] means of production mp and labour power lp that are exclusively involved in changing the form of value from M to C and from C′ to M′. These constitute Marxian socially-unnecessary means of production and labour power, as expressed in value-schema (6):

     mp    MP        mp′
  M ⊀  — C ≺   ···  P ··· C′ ⊀  — M′    (6)
     lp      LP       lp′

The fact that exchange [or the market] and the means of production tied up in it [buildings, communications] and the labour devoted to it [retailing, marketing, advertising, stock-trading, and general swindling] are socially unnecessary is at the core of the case for replacing capitalism with socialism.

Socially Necessary means/implies Determinism

Marx states point blank in Capital Volume 1 that political economists have “never once asked the question why labour is represented by the value of its product and labour-time by the magnitude of that value. These formulae, which bear it stamped upon them in unmistakable letters that they belong to a state of society, in which the process of production has the mastery over man, instead of being controlled by him”. This is the expression of determinism.

The fact that the market — a necessary cost to society for capital to rob society — is generally perceived as being socially necessary is part of the protective illusion of the capitalist superstructure that must be unveiled.

A socialist society based upon our Party Object will deterministically relate through socially necessary labour and means of production [cycle (1)], entirely free of any vestige of a market excrescence that the capitalist class now imposes upon it [cycle (2)] to enslave the rest of society in its narrow venal class interest.

[The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Party.]

Steve-SanFranci...
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Joined: 20/04/2015

twc wrote:

Capital Reproduction

Capital reproduction comprises four indispensable sub-processes:

    capital-reproduction ≡
        production-Ⓢ → distribution-
                ➚ profit Ⓢ
           ⇥ exchange  [= market]
                ➘ consumption  ↻    (2)
where

 Ⓢ  represents surplus value;
 ⇥  indicates “conditional suspension of distribution”;
 ➚ and ➘  indicate “conditional flow of distribution”;
The essential capitalist condition is “only if communal wealth can be syphoned off by the capitalist class [in Marxian terms, only if surplus value Ⓢ can be realized by the capitalist class]”.


TRUE,

BUT, the Profit from the exchange goes to the retailer.  And the retailer has a profit incentive to charge as much as possible that can not be altered.  And a sliding scale price tag charges more to rich people, and less to poor people.  Selling with a sliding scale price tag makes the seller more profit in many many many markets, but it's not used very much because it's inconvenient to buy a coffee at starducks with a sliding scale price tag.  If someone created a better sliding scale price tag that was convenient to use and ubiquitous then, 20-90% of all personal purchases might profitably be sold more profitably on a sliding scale.  So if retailers realize they can make an estimated 260% profit by charging on a sliding scale they will do that a lot and very quickly.  And since that also reduces inequality dollar for dollar matching the profit as a side effect, it changes the relationships in your diagram.  

Suppose you sell a car on a sliding scale price tag with a price of half a years salary.  That's the same price tag of "50% of your annual income, for both Bill Goates and farmer Betty." At that price, Bill gates can only afford two cars a year and they each cost half his annual income for a total price to Bill Gates of $800 million for his economy car that's no better than Betty got for paying the same price of "50% of your annual income".  Betty works at McDonalds. This is an economy car, because luxury and sports cars cost too much for both Betty and Bill Gates who both prioritize other things in life and don't want to spend more than half a years salary on their new car.  

So a properly constructed sliding scale price tag in the marketplace has an effect that is indistinguisable in function to the labor condition of paying everyone exactly the same hourly rate. The math works out the same for both conditioins and I think they are equivalent in effect. So what does marx have to say about a market condition where everyone is paid exactly the same for their time no matter their age health sex and according to their abilities and needs?  I think marx wouild recognize that this allows you to implement socialism or parts of it at the cash register on a per transation basis.  As the economy transitions to use more and more sliding scale pricing in more and more economic activity it will reach some saturation level of use due to fraud or low profits due to a rapidly decreasing class of rich people and a rapidly decreasing class of poor people to profit off of.  When their's no inequalty in the society then you can't make any extra profit by charging on a sliding scale. So one effect of the "convenient sliding scale price tag" invention is that in surplus value flows in an ecoomy, the sliding scale profits are coiupled with a transfer of wealth and buying power from the richest to poorest. More innequality among buyers means more profit to the retailer until the retailer has used up all the poor people and and rich people profit potential and everyone has roughly equal buying power the the retailer has all the money? Not sure how it works out with the seller getting so much more profit in the macro economy, but I'm working on answering those questions and others.   I think it's going to be ok.  I hope so.  

So this "sliding scale price tag" is a financial technology innovation and if you give any credit to the thoery of technology determinism which postulates that the technology evolution and inovation determines or influences politics and economics, then you might think of this as an evolutionary advancement in selling.  It was Marx who said something like this was hidden in the capitalist struction and I think a sliding scale price tag might work well for the role he was describing. The result would be a change to your equation as I hope I illustrated correctly below.  Please correct if I got it wrong. 


Capital Reproduction

Capital reproduction comprises four indispensable sub-processes:

    capital-reproduction ≡
        production-Ⓢ → distribution-
                ➚ Vairable individualized profit ⓈV
           ⇥ exchange  [= market]
                ➘ consumption
where

 ⓈV  represents surplus Variable individualized Profit Value;

 And every dollar of of profit also cause a dollar of reduction to inequality or maybe more (still working on the statistical math for the exact ratio for average on society scale and it depends on market conditions in individual markets). the technology of "the convenient sliding scale price tag" increases the surplus profit which may seem like a problem and it is kind of maybe I'm not sure. Because the other thing it does more than increase the profit is it reduces innequality faster than it increases profit.  The question is how long does it take bill gates to become so poor that he's no longer a significant source of profits.  

So this part of your diagram is great, but what if ALL of SV was extracted on an income adjusted basis for everyone because that's What makes the retailer the most money?  That won't change your diagram, but it seems like charging every rich person more and every poor person less is going to affect some other part of some equation? maybe the second step somehow?  It definitely changes market profit seeking behavior and has some sort of impact relevant to socialism, but I'm not sure exactly how implementing a convenient and ubuiqutious price tag will change society. I'm starting a non-profit project to find out.  It's completely public, no moderators, everyone can edit or comment on any part of it and no money is involved at least for now.   I think the sliding scale price tag project I'm working on and planning for hackathons should be a good launch for the sliding scale price tag, but I can't talk about it here more or the mods will get upset at me for endorsing something not sociallist enough to be relevant in their opinion.

Matt
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Quote:
  I think the sliding scale price tag project I'm working on and planning for hackathons should be a good launch for the sliding scale price tag, but I can't talk about it here more or the mods will get upset at me for endorsing something not sociallist enough to be relevant in their opinion.

Too true. socialism will be a priceless society to satisfy human needs, as opposed to capitalism which knows the price of verything and the value of nothing save accruing a profit for a parasite class.

Why should we endorse anything which retains rationed access via prices and retains production of commodites including labour power.

 What  a useless waste of resources inretaining  economic calculation and cash management, when we can utilise barcodes to assess stock depletions information  and satisfy real demand, that of human neeeds expressd by free human beings as opposed to market demand based on ability to pay, expressed by waged slaves..

"From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs".

Marcos
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This is a real wasting of time. We do know that socialism is going to be a priceless society, Why do we have to go thru this type of exercise about price and profits? It is very clearly expressed on Das Kapital that both concept only belongs to the capitalist society. It is very difficult for many peoples to move away from the capitalist brain washing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marcos
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twc wrote:

David Harvey Accuses Marx of “Arbitrary” Value Accounting

David Harvey’s unprecedented video lectures on Marx’s Capital [http://davidharvey.org] contain deep flaws that arise from his serious doubts over Marx’s materialist conception of history and the foundational role that it plays in Capital.

Nevertheless, Professor Harvey clearly describes the aspects of Marx’s Capital that trouble him beyond his capacity to understand them. He thereby simplifies the critical task of any reviewer of his course who understands how Marx grounds Capital on the materialist conception of history.

In a Q&A session within lecture 8 for Volume 2, David Harvey reiterates his utter bafflement over why the labour associated with distribution is socially necessary, while that associated with exchange is not.

Q&A — starting 53m:30s into the lecture

Question [Interviewer]

  • In Chapter 14 of Volume 2, Marx singles out “communication” and “transportation” as “special sectors” that have important knock-on effects upon the rest of the economy. How do you think about Marx’s approach to these two sectors?

Answer [David Harvey]

  1. At first sight it seems a little strange.
  2. Marx says “most things that go on in the marketing process are not productive of value”.
  3. “They are necessary costs of circulation”.
  4. But, with transport and communication, Marx says “No, they add value”.
  5. It’s often seemed rather curious to me why he decided that they were productive of value, and retailing was not.
  6. Marx’s argument is that a commodity is not complete until it has arrived at market. [If it’s at the factory gate, it’s not complete because it hasn’t got to its market place yet.]
  7. On the other hand, there’s a separate kind of addition of value that has nothing to do with the original production process.
  8. It’s a complicated kind of argument he’s making here.
  9. I’m sometimes not sure it all adds up right.

Still Poisonous Academic Context

What is striking about David Harvey’s noncommittal waffle — make up your mind, Prof. — is its serene academic unconcern over finding Marx’s value theory incomprehensible, and so nonchalantly disposable.

The understandable context, of course, is that attacks on Marx’s value theory became a mark of academic pride after Baran and Sweezy (1966) resurrected Bortkewicz’s Marxian demolition accounting for [but actually against] Marx’s value theory, and attained their zenith when genial Meek and hostile Steedman (1977) turned sympathetic Sraffa (1960) diametrically against Marx’s value theory.

Thanks to Andrew Kliman (2006), that context has been well and truly subverted, and these assaults upon Marx’s value theory should really have lapsed into history. Except they haven’t, and academic vestiges of them persist, with varying degrees of hostility [e.g. Steve Keen].

Reproductive Cycles

David Harvey’s confusion over Marx’s value accounting is best understood by reference to reproductive cycles (1) and (2), and their capitalist [mis]conception (3), quoted here from the previous post:

Quote:
social-reproduction ≡
   production → distribution → consumption ↻ (1)

Quote:
capital-reproduction ≡
    production → distribution
➚ profit
 ⇥ exchange  [= market]
➘ consumption ↻ (2)

Quote:
capitalist-class-false-consciousness ≡
➚ profit
   exchange  [= market]
➘ consumption ↻ (3)

The Materialist Conception of History is the Theoretical Foundation of Capital

Of course, David Harvey can’t formulate his bewilderment in terms of our cycles (1) and (2) because he has already dismissed the materialist conception of history as plain wrongheaded [“reductionist” in his terms] — an approach that prevents him from taking Marx’s claim seriously that the materialist conception of history is absolutely foundational.

To us, Marx means exactly what he says in his famous Preface that the materialist conception of history is the “general conclusion at which I arrived and which, once reached, became the guiding principle of my studies”. If the materialist conception of history is flawed then so is most of Capital.

David Harvey mistakenly confuses circulation [the transformation of capital through all its forms, the most obvious being the tangible ones of commodity and money] with distribution [the movement of commodities from their productive “source”, e,g. a mine, farm or factory, to their consumptive “sink”, the consumer].

In his confusion, he blends distribution into exchange — an understandably capitalist misconception. Despite Marx, he misconceives capitalist reproduction from the narrow standpoint of the capital-reproductive sub-process exchange [cycle (3)].

Capital-reproductive cycle (2) makes it abundantly clear that distribution facilitates [→] circulation, while exchange impedes [⇥] it. The two are not identical as he assumes. They are fundamentally antagonistic.

Thus his limited viewpoint generates an implied accusation that Marx adopts “arbitrary” value accounting practices in Capital — a very serious charge indeed!

While seemingly innocent, this episode is characteristic of the long line of ultimately mischievous anti-Marxian accusations that arise from confusion and misunderstanding.

David Harvey well knows what Marx says, but arbitrarily selects those bits of Marx that appeal to his still bourgeois-clouded mind. Marx is all or nothing. Marx is a scientist who is never arbitrary. David Harvey, however, is. His own arbitrary selectivity is the onlie begetter of his claim of arbitrariness.

Realizing Surplus Value is a Cost to the Capitalist — the Market is a Drain on Production

The capitalist market is not just a barrier to distribution — as we see from the circulation of capital, cycle (2) — but the labour and means of production consumed in setting up the market and realizing surplus value impose a gigantic drain on production. These two observations are proof positive that the market is a parasite imposed-upon and living-off an absolute social necessity — cycle (1).

The economic cost of the gargantuan capitalist mechanism of exchange is something way beyond David Harvey’s comprehension, but it is plainly there for all to see in Marx. Value associated with the parasitic edifice of the capitalist market is negative — not “additive” in any way at all as David Harvey thinks, but rather “subtractive”. The market is — how shocking — a cost to capital.

The reason, of course, lies in the deterministic necessity of social-reproductive cycle (1). That is fundamental to social reproduction. It is the inescapable invariant of social reproduction.

Though capitalist-reproductive cycle (2) is autonomous and independent, it is ultimately subservient to the determinism of cycle (1). This subservience relays to cycle (2) the purely dependent determinism of a parasite that is ultimately bound to a genuinely deterministic process, which it must preserve in order to preserve itself.

The determinism of the circulation of capital — the blather about “unseen hands” — the patently false assertions about “market efficiency” — derives solely from the necessity for a parasite to preserve its host.

The proof that Marx sees the circulation of capital from the standpoint of cycle (2) is that he sees all labour and means of production associated with exchange [the market] as a cost to capital. Precisely the destructive role of a parasite.

In other words, Marx sees the market as a necessary cost to capitalism. He sees it as destructive to value, and any labour or means of production involved in exchange [the market] as mathematically negative value, or value destroying, not creating.

Since labour and means of production in the advanced capitalist world are increasingly associated with exchange [the market], a huge proportion of labour is now destructive of value. This is entirely so in capitalist terms.

Marx’s “Socially Necessary” refers to Cycle (1) — Exchange is not Socially Necessary

William Morris and Robert Tressall long ago showed that labour and means of production associated with exchange were unnecessary for social reproduction. But Marx had already shown that, in capitalist terms, they were essentially destructive of value — the very thing the capitalist seeks.

If the costs of marketing are too high, distribution falters, and so production grinds to a halt. Society cannot live off exchange — only the capitalist class can. Society cannot live off the market — only the capitalist class can.

The parasite must bear the burden of its parasitism. The capitalist must carry the cost of extracting surplus value. Capitalists don’t get to consume all the surplus value that arises in production and distribution because those pesky workers engaged in exchange must consume part of it. And, shockingly, their labour is not productive of surplus value, but effectively consumptive of it!

The modern capitalist class employs a vast destructive labour force economically analogous to the drone Roman proletariat, but one that is actively engaged in extracting surplus value for the capitalist class, and therefore consuming what rightly belongs to the “deprived” capitalist class.

What a degrading social system it is for workers of the world that it must of necessity employ the relatively well-to-do workers of the advanced capitalist world to exploit the relatively impoverished workers of the developing capitalist world to maintain the extremely well-to-do capitalist ruling class of the world in the luxury that these world-class parasites claim as a social — but actually their class — right!

Re-stated at the Level of David Harvey’s Discussion

David Harvey naturally states the reproduction of capital in Marxian value terms as value-schema (4):

M — C ··· P ··· C′ — M′ (4)

where

M = value in its money form;
C = value in its commodity form;
P = the process of producing surplus value:
   production → distribution    [as in cycle (1)];
M′ and C′ = money and commodity forms expanded with surplus value.

As does Marx, David Harvey divides the value of the commodity C into socially-necessary means of production MP and socially-necessary labour power LP, value-schema (5):

MP
M — C ≺ ··· P ··· C′ — M′ (5)
LP

We’ll now make explicit the “socially-unnecessary” [or Marxian value destructive] means of production mp and labour power lp that are exclusively involved in changing the form of value from M to C and from C′ to M′. These constitute Marxian socially-unnecessary means of production and labour power, as expressed in value-schema (6):

mp MP mp′
M ⊀ — C ≺ ··· P ··· C′ ⊀ — M′ (6)
lp LP lp′

The fact that exchange [or the market] and the means of production tied up in it [buildings, communications] and the labour devoted to it [retailing, marketing, advertising, stock-trading, and general swindling] are socially unnecessary is at the core of the case for replacing capitalism with socialism.

Socially Necessary means/implies Determinism

Marx states point blank in Capital Volume 1 that political economists have “never once asked the question why labour is represented by the value of its product and labour-time by the magnitude of that value. These formulae, which bear it stamped upon them in unmistakable letters that they belong to a state of society, in which the process of production has the mastery over man, instead of being controlled by him”. This is the expression of determinism.

The fact that the market — a necessary cost to society for capital to rob society — is generally perceived as being socially necessary is part of the protective illusion of the capitalist superstructure that must be unveiled.

A socialist society based upon our Party Object will deterministically relate through socially necessary labour and means of production [cycle (1)], entirely free of any vestige of a market excrescence that the capitalist class now imposes upon it [cycle (2)] to enslave the rest of society in its narrow venal class interest.

[The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Party.]

 

The problem of Harvey is that he is a university professor and he is teaching distorted economical conception to his students. He is creating more confusion. He goes inside the same  cycles as Richard Wolf and his cooperatives which are not socialists conceptions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marcos
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Joined: 23/04/2017

Matt wrote:

Quote:
  I think the sliding scale price tag project I'm working on and planning for hackathons should be a good launch for the sliding scale price tag, but I can't talk about it here more or the mods will get upset at me for endorsing something not sociallist enough to be relevant in their opinion.

Too true. socialism will be a priceless society to satisfy human needs, as opposed to capitalism which knows the price of verything and the value of nothing save accruing a profit for a parasite class.

Why should we endorse anything which retains rationed access via prices and retains production of commodites including labour power.

 What  a useless waste of resources inretaining  economic calculation and cash management, when we can utilise barcodes to assess stock depletions information  and satisfy real demand, that of human neeeds expressd by free human beings as opposed to market demand based on ability to pay, expressed by waged slaves..

Only a fool will pay for something that he can get for free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve-SanFranci...
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Joined: 20/04/2015

Marcos wrote:

Matt wrote:

Quote:
  I think the sliding scale price tag project I'm working on and planning for hackathons should be a good launch for the sliding scale price tag, but I can't talk about it here more or the mods will get upset at me for endorsing something not sociallist enough to be relevant in their opinion.

Too true. socialism will be a priceless society to satisfy human needs, as opposed to capitalism which knows the price of verything and the value of nothing save accruing a profit for a parasite class.

Why should we endorse anything which retains rationed access via prices and retains production of commodites including labour power.

 What  a useless waste of resources inretaining  economic calculation and cash management, when we can utilise barcodes to assess stock depletions information  and satisfy real demand, that of human neeeds expressd by free human beings as opposed to market demand based on ability to pay, expressed by waged slaves..

Only a fool will pay for something that he can get for free

Well Marcos, you're right about that because I'm not slowing down for you to catch up.  You'll read in the news about it someday and realize that you got what I'm offering for free without your help.  I'm mostly just giving you a heads up to the new economic reality your going to be living in whether you choose it or not.  You can safely sit back and sleep through the revolution Marcos.  We can fix the economy without your help and you'll still benefit from what we do some day.

Steve-SanFranci...
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Joined: 20/04/2015

Matt wrote:

Quote:
  I think the sliding scale price tag project I'm working on and planning for hackathons should be a good launch for the sliding scale price tag, but I can't talk about it here more or the mods will get upset at me for endorsing something not sociallist enough to be relevant in their opinion.

Too true. socialism will be a priceless society to satisfy human needs, as opposed to capitalism which knows the price of verything and the value of nothing save accruing a profit for a parasite class.

Why should we endorse anything which retains rationed access via prices and retains production of commodites including labour power.

 What  a useless waste of resources inretaining  economic calculation and cash management, when we can utilise barcodes to assess stock depletions information  and satisfy real demand, that of human neeeds expressd by free human beings as opposed to market demand based on ability to pay, expressed by waged slaves..

What a fiunny coincidence.  My solution utilizes barcodes to asses stock depletion informatin and satify real demand, that of human needs experessed by free human beings as apposed to market demand based on abiity to pay, expressed by wage slaves.

But, I'm just confused by why you can't recognize it as such since it's basically your idea using different words and I think it must be your preconceptions and you've closed your mind to any solution but one that has to use predefined words you're familiar with and associate with socialism to be accepted.  That's not very smart or effective to have only one solution to a problem that you gamble everything on and refuse to consider any others that don't subscribe to your language and terminology limitations.  By limiting your consideration to only ideas that use your favorite lexicon you've eliminated a lot of good ideas needlessly.  Its that how socialist like you think?  Is that the socialist way of thinking in your opinion? 

 

I would also question how you define a wage slave in a measurable objective way.  I get the feeling that "wage slave" is just some slogan you throw around and you wouldn't recognize a wage slave from a merchant class or from a property owner in anything more than a very simple example.  Here's an example.  using hOEP.coin (a hypothetical currency that doesn't exist yet.)  hOEP.coin is based on a unit of measure of an hour of yoru time and is written the abrevisation  "hour equals price price".  With a hOEP.coin unit of currency, one hOEP.coin = 1 hour of your time multiplied by your personal individualized hourly wage in dollars/hr.

*************************************************************

Two stylist trade favors of an hour.


Jenny, a hair stylist earns $20/hr.
Teresa, a nail specialist earns $60/hr.


Jenny and Teresa Both agree to work for each other for an hour.

------------------------------------------

How many net dollars will Teresa have transferred to Jenny if they both agree to bill each other fairly for 1 hour each using hOEP.coin? Answer: the poorer person is now $40 richer than before.

How many net dollars will Jenny have transferred to Teresa if they both agree to bill each other fairly for 1 hour each using USA Dollars? Answer, The poorer person is now $40 poorer than before.  


What happens if Jenny bills in hOEP.coin and Teresa bills in USA Dollars?

*************************************************************  So tell me in the example above which of the two people, Jenny or Teresa, is a wage slave and which is not?  and why.  Let me also point out in the example above that when selling using hOEP.coin there is NO CAPITAL VALUE EXCHANGED. and the only thing exchageed is personal time.  So this money functions in a world without capital property and capital assets (it also functions in a world with capital property and assets, but it doesn't need the existence or use of material goods to function as an exchange mechanism for trading personal time.) Also, the hOEP.coin doesn't actually exist as anything you can touch and is just a non-tangible non-material accounting function.  So no you can't steel hOEP.coin because hOEP.coin is not a physical object or even an information object.  HOEP.coin is a pricing adjustment in the marx economic understanding of a sale price. It adjusts everyones price to be a price that is independent of their labor value.  it doesn't matter how much money you earn or profit from your wage labor or how much the employer extracts from you in the price tag.  you could earn 1 million dollars an hour and the hair cut still costs you an hour of your labor.   Or you could earn $20/hr and the hair cut still costs you an hour of your labor.  Or you could earn $60/hr and your hair cut still costs you one hour of your labor. 

 

How you measure socially useful demand instead of just demand to take a product off the shelves, Lot of people take things off the shelves who don't really need them or use them, just because they think they might maybe use or need them later and want them convenient nearby.  You're bar codes alone won't help you understand why the caviar runs out before the potatoes. Bar codes of all equal value will not manage supply levels when you have both expensive to produce caviar and cheep to produce potatoes in the same general store and just record the bar codes when people walk out with things.  So that's the end of your plan.  it's broken.

Steve-SanFranci...
Offline
Joined: 20/04/2015

Marcos wrote:

 

The problem of Harvey is that he is a university professor and he is teaching distorted economical conception to his students. He is creating more confusion. He goes inside the same  cycles as Richard Wolf and his cooperatives which are not socialists conceptions

Are you trying to change the website mission statement?  The test of relevancy is if it affects the socialist agenda, not if the idea came from socialist and is a socialist conceived conception.  If you only accept ideas from people who you consider true socialist and you define true socialist as believing in old ideas that have never changed, then you never get any new ideas.  But you've made it clear, Marcos, that you don't want any new ideas.  So I guess you already know what I wrote about you is true and just don't care because I'm not your idea of "true socialist".

Matt
Matt's picture
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Joined: 09/04/2010

Quote:

What a fiunny coincidence.  My solution utilizes barcodes to asses stock depletion informatin and satify real demand, that of human needs experessed by free human beings as apposed to market demand based on abiity to pay, expressed by wage slaves.

But, I'm just confused by why you can't recognize it as such since it's basically your idea using different words and I think it must be your preconceptions and you've closed your mind to any solution but one that has to use predefined words you're familiar with and associate with socialism to be accepted. 

It is nothing of the kind. It is gibberish, effectively bartering in hours in the example you give. An unnecessary calculatory transaction in this case.

If either have to work for any currency or credits, mythical or otherwise, for the store, to access the means of living and to produce  a value above their recompense, by an employer upon which th employer can realise a profit, they are effectively wage slaves. Owing their soul to the boss and company store.

There will be much less wasteful storing up of provisions when access is free. I won't have to make those decisions about caviar or potatos, those will be made locally , regionally and globally and weighted as to their socially usefulness by the people who make the revolution.

"From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs".

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