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

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they do indeed have a monopoly and sole access to that space ...

On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 4:11 PM, Jakob Rigi <rigij> wrote:

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 metaphorical?

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<hgg> 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 Six
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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