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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Money and Magic Beans (46 comments)

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  •  Beautifully Written and Illustrated Diary! (7+ / 0-)

    Thanks so much, northsylvania.  When the capitalist money system collapses, we will all need to be on the barter system.  (And they can't put us all in jail!)

    At base, the essential value is the value of the labor time and skill that goes into making useful objects or providing needed services.  Gold and silver is only valuable because it embodies the labor time and skill that goes into mining it, even if the process is highly mechanized.  Labor is the universal value, and it is stolen labor time which the super-rich have stolen and are hoarding.  Time to take it back!

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:56:32 PM PDT

    •  Non-labor resources are real. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, JayRaye, Odysseus

      Yes, oil isn't much use until it's pumped and refined, but all the pumps and refineries in the world won't do you any good without the raw material.  Marx's analysis worked in a world where human labor was still the most-limited-resource for extraction of most value.  But today the most-limited-resource is energy, and in fifty years it may be food.  At which point, expect a sudden "bust" in human population.

      •  Oil is concentrated (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, Odysseus, AoT

        mechanical labour, which is why people have made fortunes from it. I have planted gardens to feed two people for a year and know that if it is done by hand, it is close to a full time job for one of those two people. Nonetheless, if you have two very hungry people, it can seem like a good bargain.
        I am not against global trading per se. Crop failures in different parts of the world make it very helpful indeed. Nonetheless, if the system of global trade exploits the people involved in growing the food to the extent that they are using their land and resources while starving, as is the case in Kenya occasionally, it would also be helpful for people to understand exactly how much time, energy and labour is required to grow that £1 packet of beans, and respect it accordingly.

        You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

        by northsylvania on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:12:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The real is an assigned value (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania

        Oil is an assigned value for a work done. In other words, we're back to a real object assigned a value (capital) by its ability to do work ("energy" = "the capacity to do work," doesn't it?). Thus, it's still a labor-based analysis, with the oil standing in for an impossible number of laborers.

        One barrel of oil represents the human labor of 140 men for a year. That's a fantastic concentration. Thus, we are bargaining, again, for labor.

        However, when people bargain for oil futures, and then there is a shortage of oil based on the promise of delivery to too many customers and the prices go up -- all without a single drop of oil actually moving from the ground to a tank -- and then the futures are sold at a vast profit, we're no longer dealing with value based economics.

        "...ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be." - Juliana of Norwich

        by The Geogre on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:50:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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