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

Hi Jakob,

it's not clear what Marx had be written if he had finished the planned 6 volumes of the "Capital". As you know he finished only vol. 1 himself and vol. 2 and 3 were compiled by Engels from a waste of preliminary material that was written _before_ vol. 1 was finished. After publishing the corresponding MEGA volumes in the last years much exegetic work was done to understand if Engels did this job properly.

It is not my aim to work in that direction, but to focus on using Marx' _methodological_ heritage, especially his main method, also called "Poirot's Method" due to the famous Belgian detective - using and trusting the own grey cells.

Form that point of view the Trinity Formula is very preliminary, even the aim of those explanations is not clear to me, since the story about rents is clearly not a _labour_ value theory. So may be Marx tried 1) to explain how a pre-capitalistic, landlord centered reproduction regime transforms into a capitalistic one or 2) in what ways surplus value (as essence) is seen "at the surface" ("surface" and "essence" in the sense of Fleissners paper If the latter, the use of the term "rent" is contraproductive since we (at least I) try to understand "the essence".

If the former (and in general to understand the matter), a story about a reproduction process would be helpful. So assume we need a new barn for our commons. In the pre-capitalistic landlord centered reproduction mode the story goes as follows:

There are trees in the landlord's forest he decides to use to get the barn built. His people have duties to deliver services and work two weeks a year or so at the landlords advice. So there are not only enough hands (and instruments, since the service has to be delivered "with own instruments at hand") to cut the trees but also people who have the duty to serve "with two horses alive and ready for use". It's interesting to see how detailed duties existed in those times that covered all possible reproductional needs of the commons (at the "use value" side). So after a while the trees appear at the building place etc. The Writer (a very central profession in the pre-capitalistic! landlord's empire to keep track of the complied duties) registers the complied duties in his thick book. Moreover its a good idea to have such a service instead of its own horse man, since the remaining 50 weeks a year the horses are required to get the horse man's land to feed the horse man's big family (so he works the rest of the year "on his own needs").

How goes the story within a capitalistic enterprise? There are trees in the agrar capitalists private forest he decides to use to get the barn built (and afterwards lended to the public - it's called PPP those days). He hires skilled people to deliver services and work two weeks or so at his advice. The capitalist registers the complied duties and the money spent for them in his thick book. I must not explain that in detail, since this part of the "exchange value" business is clear - the skilled people spend human labour on foreign needs and get wages, that can easily (and traditionally - at least if the instruments are supplied by the capitalist) be explained in labour value terms.

What's about the horse man? The agrar capitalist finds "on the market" (nowadays using the internet) a "horse man with two horses alive and ready for use" to get the trees transported to the building place, agrees with him about the price and registers the complied duty and the money spent for it in his thick book. What, in labour value terms, the horse man get paid? p=c+v+m: There is operative business (human labour - live and reified - on foreign needs, c+v) - tracking the trees out of the forest to the building place. But human labour has also to be spent "to keep the two horses alive and ready for use" (and many other things not in the focus of the agrar capitalist but in the focus of the horse man) - human labour "on foreign common needs", since there are other people who need the service of "a horse man with two horses alive and ready for use", so it is in the common interest to keep the horses alive and ready for use. This is the semantics of the "surplus value" m, that you can call "rent" but it remains surplus value.

What's about the story in the "fully fledged 100% p2p age" (as far as I understand it)? There is a forest out there ("natural ecologically reproducing itself") where we can take the required trees and we have enough volunteers that like to cut trees, so the trees are ready for transport almost after two minutes, since these volunteers brought their instruments, power saws etc., filled with enough gasoline, that they took from the p2p gasoline station (okay, wrong century, so replace gasoline by horse dung). Then "just in time" the p2p horse man came and offered his horse service to track the trees out of the wood etc.

A story about Cockaigne, isn't it?


Am 25.03.2012 11:11, schrieb Jakob Rigi:
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


  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
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