[OPE-L:1224] Re: Re: Re: Advertising and productive labour

From: Michael J Williams (michael@williamsmj.screaming.net)
Date: Tue Sep 14 1999 - 15:09:11 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Jurriaan Bendien <djjb99@worldonline.nl>
To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 1999 4:23 PM
Subject: [OPE-L:1219] Re: Re: Advertising and productive labour

> My position is that much of advertising labour is straightforward
> commodity-producing labour exchanged against capital, hence productive of
> value and surplus-value. If you actually study the advertising industry
> (and there are some fine books on this), you will see what I mean.
> I have said before, and will say again, many commodities are produced
> capitalism of which the use-value is questionable from some moral point of
> view. But that doesn't stop them from being commodities, possessing
> exchange-value and use-value. Indeed, part of the critique of capitalism
> that those commodities can be produced at all (although you have to be a
> bit careful with that critique so as not to step on human freedoms).

This is my position too.
> Sometimes you seem to argue that advertising is only productive if the
> product it advertises is actually sold as result of the advertising. But
> this seems to be as quirky to me as Michael's argument about the
> productivity of his haircut in attracting students to his teaching

Since Jurriaan and I seem to agree (above), I'm not sure why my haircutting
example, although meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek, is not an adequate
illustration of my thesis that neither the service nature, nor the
triviality, nor whether it is for final or intermediate consumption is
material in defining what is or is not a commodity, nor concomitantly what
is or is not (un)productive labour.

Dr Michael Williams
Economics and Social Sciences
De Montfort University
Milton Keynes

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