Friday, October 9, 2015

Some Notes on Things I've Been Reading

Reclaiming Work, Andre Gorz, 1999

This is an exceptionally interesting little book which affirms my conviction that Andre Gorz remains one of the most overlooked radical thinkers of the late 20th century.  I will post some notes on here as soon as I can transcribe them.

Interview with Anselm Jappe at the Brooklyn Rail

"Value cannot be created by decree, only by a real labor process—and it has to be “productive labor” in the capitalist sense (that means that it does not only consume capital but helps to reproduce it). Money can be created by decree—but when it does not correspond to the real amount of labor that it is supposed to “represent,” it has no “substance” and loses its value through some form of inflation (although for decades now the explosion of massive inflation has been deferred by parking large sums of fictitious capital in stock markets, real estate markets, and so on). Here the Critique of Value finds itself in sharp contrast to nearly all left-wing economists, who are generally just neo-Keynesians."

The point I put in italics is really what I find interesting vis-a-vis the notion of productive labor.  This is the clearest, most succinct reasoning as to why military production is unproductive, since military commodities cannot be used to reproduce constant or variable capital.  This is also why production of luxury goods for non-laborers is unproductive, unlike "luxury" goods consumed by potential laborers which goes toward the reproduction of labor power.

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