Comments: Pro-markets, Anti-profits


Excellent stuff here! I've been reading through various agrarian economic/philosophical sources and found the distinction between optimum and maximum to be compelling. Maybe this parallels to some extent surplus revenue vs. profits?

Well, labour value as "absurd and mythical" is only about as "absurd and mythical" as the unquestioned phrase "economic growth" as "engine of the economy." Engine? Economy? Growth? Marx still has a leg up on ya' Abe. I still have to finish commenting on your book, but you bear more than an uncanny resemblance to Marx when you think you are arguing against Marx. Marx never argued against "surplus value," insofar as for Marx's analysis in CAPITAL (1) surplus value is simply the name he gives to what you also see as a root problem -- profit. And what you value, like Marx, is something to do with a shared surplus for the labourer. This IS labour value for Marx. Now, on the other hand, Marx assumes a pure labour or object capable of existence outside of any exchange economy or commodity fetishism. This is the point where Derrida critiques this attempt to purify an object, phenomena or process from possible spectrality, fetish, commodification, exchange in general, dissemination, etc. And strangely enough you too define a certain space as "bounded," has having a boundary, clearly defined even -- this is your Market, plural or not, and in a strange inversion of Marx, it is this "mythical and absurd" space you seem to want to keep clear of all that would be distinguished from exchange without being free of it -- what Marx called labour, the thing itself, all that life is worth striving for, in other words. best, tV

LeisureArts - care to elaborate on which agrarian economic/philosophical sources? There is probably stuff there I want to read.

tobias - with all do respect I'm not going down that rabbit hole. I don't particularly agree with your interpretation of Marx and the way it maps to my work, but as soon as you start talking intensely about interpretations of Marx you are headed towards a place that has nothing to do with actions in the real world. I'm a designer first, I like to solve problems and I do that by conceiving and then testing and iterating. Marx, or at least Marx plus the various interpretations of his followers is a big trap that prevents that from happening and I'm staying as far away from that path as possible.

Abe, are you familiar with Christopher Gunn? His books Reclaiming Capital (with his wife) and Third-Sector Development: Making Up for the Market might be relevant to your research. Although Gunn's coming from a Marxist perspective, he keeps his research rooted in the real world by doing case-studies of non-profits, co-ops, credit unions, etc. and their role in economic growth. I'm reading Reclaiming Capital and it seems pretty reasonable thus far. Third-Sector Development seems to be an update of Reclaiming. You might find some useful case studies in there.

Interesting, will have to check it out, thanks Klint

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