Re: Capitalism, Private Property, etc (was Re: Sweatshops)

From: J. Goard (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 19:19:26 MDT

At 04:47 PM 4/18/01 -0700, wrote:

>The common element here is that you have lent or rented out some
>possession, for money. Is that the definition of exploiting? To loan
>something for money?

Not quite the *definition*, but one example of what they consider
exploitation, yes.

>A loan is a transfer of property accompanied by a promise to give it back.
>A loan for money adds a transfer of money from borrower to lender.
>Apparently this is evil. Why?

According to a strong version of the labor theory of value,
" which equal quantities of labor are embodied, or which
can be produced in the same time, have the same value. The value of one
commodity is to the value of any other, as the labour-time necessary for
the production of the one is to that necessary for the production of the
other." (Marx, _Capital_, 1.1.1) From this absurd refinement of a rare
error in Adam Smith, it would follow that what bankers or investors do with
commodities could not possibly add anything to their value; therefore, the
extent to which these individuals profit is the extent to which they are
leeching off the alleged "real producers" of the full value of the product,
the wage laborers.

>What about other contractual arrangements? Suppose I give you some object
>in exchange for your promise to give me money on a regular, ongoing basis.
>This is not a loan because there is no promise to return the object.
>Does this make it morally OK? Why or why not?

According to their way of thinking, unless you actually changed the product
through your labor, you didn't add any value. So, if you just buy books
from garage sales, give them to me for a monthly fee, and realize a profit,
then you must be engaged in exploitation.

>I'm having trouble understanding the dividing line between which kinds
>of freely-chosen, voluntarily-agreed-to arrangements between private
>individuals are acceptable in this system and which are not.

So am I. They usually end up attacking your definition of "freedom".

J. Goard
The Beyond outside us is indeed swept away, and the
great undertaking of the Enlightenment complete;
but the Beyond *inside* us has become a new heaven
and calls us to renewed heaven-storming.
                                      --Max Stirner

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