[OPE-L:1251] Re: Advertising and productive labour

From: zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu
Date: Thu Sep 16 1999 - 14:14:35 EDT

On 09/15/99 at 06:11 PM, "Michael J Williams"

>> Advertising of Coke and Pepsi is not a use value and therefore is not a
>> commodity. It has no more use value than hiring a worker to dig a hole
>> and refill it (Keynes' example). This is not a moral question, as far as
>> I am concerned (at least for this example which I'd like to stay with
>> until we have cleared the topic of advertising or agreed to disagree).

>Such advertising is a use-value for the producers and distributers of
>these drinks - which is why they are prepared to buy the commodity
>service. If that service is produced under capitalist direct relations of
>production, then it is a commodity. On what grounds other than 'moral' do
>you declare it not to be a use-value? That it is not 'useful' in some
>general humanistic sense? But that is true of many of the use-values
>produced under capitalism.


I guess I had more than one reason to hesitate getting into the
productive/unproductive labor debate. It's like the song: "you say
'neether' and I say 'neither', you say 'tomato' and I say tomaeto'

To me your argument is simply circular, since it is bought and sold, voila
advertising is a product of value creating labor (with no discussion of
the substance of the use-value involved, if any). It reifies what exists.

The end of that song is "let's call the whole thing off". I'm not really
proposing that, but I don't suspect we will get very far either (or


Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at
******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

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