[OPE-L:1330] Re: more re advertising and productive labour

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 06:00:54 EDT

At 02:09 21/09/99 -0700, you wrote:
> I started out completely supportive of the position of Jurriaan
> and then
>Michael that we could consider advertising labour as productive but have
>since moved away from this (well, partly) in the course of the discussion.
>Initially, it seemed to me that the key issue in determining whether
>advertising labour was part of the total labour involved in producing a
>commodity under capitalist relations (and thus was productive labour---
>ie., labour producing surplus value) was--- what constitutes a commodity
>(in contrast to a product)? Given, eg, that labour involved in transporting
>products to the point where they are use-values for consumers is deemed by
>Marx to be part of the process of producing these as commodities (as is the
>labour involved in creating unit sizes desired by consumers within the
>apparent retail process--- eg., the butcher in the supermarket), why could
>we not argue that advertising is part of the process of producing
>commodities insofar as the skilled labour involved in this activity turns
>particular products into use-values?
> In short, it seemed to me that far more is involved in
> advertising than
>ensuring the realisation of value and surplus value-- ie., than effecting
>the transfer of legal title; rather, it was a matter of production--- in
>the absence of "selling the sizzle", no one would want the product (or some
>at least).

You have the sign wrong here.
The use value of commodities consists in the ability to satisfy peoples wants.
The effect of advertising is to increase peoples wants, so advertising has
negative use value.

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