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Re: Rcee: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

Hi Hans-Gert,
Marx distinguishes between two types of rent: absolute and differential
rent. Differential rent comes from different levels of productivity, but
absolute rent comes from a monopoly right over a scarce resource. Marx
also applied his rent theory to buildings (chapter, 46). I guess
facebook owners have a monopoly right and let its space to advertisers
in the same way that the owner of a building let her building. And the
same is true of leting a car. Of course facebook is a virtual space not
a physical one, but space itself is an abstract term, hence it can be
applied to both. I am not sure that virtual space is a metaphor.
Metaphor for what? It is immaterial, but immaterial is not always
metaphorical. It is perhaps a digital space. But is digital

But, there is one major difference between leting an apartment or a car
and leting space in facebook. The origin of rent in the examples of
apartment and car can be either the wages of the tenants or the surplus
value that the tenants extract from workers. In the cae of facebook the
origin of rent is surplus value.

all the best

Hans-Gert Gräbe 03/25/12 4:17 AM >>> 
Hi Jakob, 

I understand what Marx' rent theory is about, the more I do not 
understand your point. 

Now, I think that the claim that Facebook is selling attention to 
advertisers is categorically mistaken. No. Facebook is letting pieces 
of virtual space to advertisers and receive rent for it. 

The "virtual space" is 1) a metapher and 2) a purely 
cultural-technological construction. Rent theory is about scarcity of a 
natural resource with different "productivity", isn't it?. But the 
"virtual space" is by no means a scarce resource (at least after 
implementing ipv6) and I don't see different productivity either. 

To put it different: in your terms, a person leasing cars gets a rent 
from "letting pieces of car space to users"? 


Am 25.03.2012 00:06, schrieb Jakob Rigi: 
If you want to Learn about Marx theory of rent you need to read Part
of the Thiird Volume of Capital (chapters 37-47, pp. 751-950, the 
english translation, Penguin Edition) organised under the title: "The 
Transformation of Surplus Value into Ground Rent". Marx ascribed the 
trinity formula to economists he criticised. However, he did not meant

to deny the existence of rent but argued that the origin of rent was 
surplus value that was produced by wage labor which was exchanged with

All the best 


Dr. Hans-Gert Graebe, apl. Prof., Inst. Informatik, Univ. Leipzig 
postal address: Postfach 10 09 20, D-04009 Leipzig 
Hausanschrift: Johannisgasse 26, 04103 Leipzig, Raum 5-18 
tel. : +49 341 97 32248 
email: graebe 
Home Page: 


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