[OPE-L:2119] Re: Re: Re: Why is Malthus correct on unproductive labor, according to Marx?

From: Paul Cockshott (clyder@gn.apc.org)
Date: Wed Jan 12 2000 - 16:11:04 EST

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At 16:21 12/01/00 +0100, ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu wrote:
>Prof. Foley wrote:
> but there are also
>>places where Marx seems to veer into the idea that a socialist economy
>>would eliminate unproductive labor.
>I would like to know where Marx suggests this. As far as I know, he does
>not claim anything like that, although he implies that socialism could
>eliminate numerous sources of inefficiences and waste. It would be more
>correct (and healthier) to argue, I think, that contrary to what the old
>Stalinist-type social accounting suggested, the distinction between
>productive and unproductive labour would be irrelevant in a socialist
>economy. Other criteria would be applied to the social valuation of labour,
>e.g. social utility.

Here one could diverge into the most abject appologetics. An argument can
always be found for why some form of labour has social utility, be it
the work of parsons or soldiers. But relabling things does not help
in reality. A society that transfers too much of its labour into unproductive
activities imperils its economic growth and even its reproduction.

Soldiers may be necessary but they are not productive, ( some activities
of the PLA excepted).
Paul Cockshott (clyder@gn.apc.org)

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