EconoFiction

Productivity and Labour

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12 Nov , 2020  

The need to increase the productivity of individual capital, which goes hand in hand with competition, leads to a decline in the value of goods, which may increase the rate of added value (m/v) due to the reduction in the value of variable capital, while at the same time, in future production processes, it will be possible to save the number of workers per unit of product, i.e., living labor, which is considered the only source of added value in almost all varieties of Marxism. According to a number of Marxist authors, this constellation points to a fundamental “dilemma” in capitalism, which we shall now examine in more detail. Provided that real wages, total working time and sales of goods remain constant, every increase in productivity leads to a reduction in the value of goods per unit of product and to an increase in the rate of added value. At the same time, however, the problem of the added value mass must also be taken into account. Here, the value-added mass incorporated in the individual goods is subject to two opposing trends as a result of the increase in productivity: On the one hand, it decreases proportionally to the general loss in value of the individual goods, on the other hand, it increases in proportion to the increase in the share of added value in the total value of the individual goods. (Cf. Ortlieb 2008: 8f.) What can now be fixed as a general tendency with regard to the movement of the value-added mass in the course of productivity increases, depends, if one wants to engage in these varieties of labor value Marxism, on how large the share of unpaid human labor (value-added rate) was at the beginning of the respective production period before new technologies were integrated into the production process. First of all, it is claimed here that with every increase in productivity, the value added (m) grows by the time share deducted from (v) (variable capital). And it is easy to see that the growth rate of relative added value decreases with each increase in productivity, because the smaller the fraction of work required (compared to the share of constant capital) in the working day, the less a further increase in productivity adds new added value (a first doubling of productivity halves (v), the next doubling from the starting point halves (v), the next doubling from the starting point quarters (v), etc., and so on, and so on, the movement of (m)). According to Ortlieb, the marker at which it is decided whether the added value mass rises or falls as a result of an innovation that has already established itself on a general social level is a value-added rate of 1, and that means: m = v, necessary working time equals overtime. (Ibid.: 13f.) From now on, every increase in productivity lowers the value of the goods more than it increases the added value per unit, which means that despite the increasing value-added rate, the value-added mass tends to decrease and asymptotically approaches zero as part of the total value mass. This should, ceteris paribus, be regarded as a general tendency on the level of total capital, because only with the generalization of a technological innovation, with which every extra added value of an individual capital is eliminated, the value mass in an economy as a whole decreases. And precisely for this reason, the hunt for extra added value is put above the mechanisms of competition in the long run, no matter how far the value mass as a whole may already have sunk.
Authors such as Kurz, Trenkle/Lohoff or Ortlieb, the latter with his explicitly mathematically supported attempts at interpretation, now tend to understand these relations, which at first can be described purely arithmetically, as real empirical tendencies in the course of the internal history of capitalism, whereby through competition and its corrective mechanisms, mediated by competition, the compulsion is exerted on individual capitals to permanently increase productivity and thus to reduce the use of living labor more and more, which means nothing other than that the labor force is only applied at the respective level of the productivity standards mediated by competition: The higher the productivity is through rationalization and technological progress, the more the so-called value substance (living labor) and with it the number of laborers will shrink at the level of total capital, and the higher will be the extent of the machinery or fixed capital in production. (Cf. Kurz 2012/ Lohoff/Trenkle 2012/Ortlieb 2008) In the course of the internal history of capital, there is a tendency for a permanent reduction of labor force per unit of goods produced, which means that with constant production, despite an increase in the rate of added value, a decrease in the total mass of added value can be observed.

In capitalism, according to Kurz & Co., the increase in the relative share of added value with a constant use of monetary capital can no longer more than compensate for the decline in the number of workers at a certain point, despite internal progress in product and process innovation and the external expansion of capital on a global level, as well as the integration of reproductive activities (domestic activities plus services). Thus, the permanently shifting internal limit of capital mutates into an absolute limit, in so far as labor continues to be the only source of added value. (Cf. briefly 2012: 274ff./ Lohoff/Trenkle 105ff.)


At this point, however, one should already ask the question whether the logical and at the same time real-historical form of capitalism explained in theory, in which the contradiction between material and form or between increasing productivity and diminishing value substance is supposed to objectively assert itself as an absolute barrier to the accumulation of capital, is actually to be regarded as historically so irreversible. If productivity could grow unlimitedly and thus the value added by human labor to goods (regardless of the machine added value) would tend to be close to zero, then logically also the realized mass of added value would tend to zero, because the mass of added value can never be greater than the newly added mass of value qua living labor. (Cf. Ortlieb 8f.) Now the above-mentioned Marxist authors assume that with exponentially growing productivity (today inaugurated by the all-encompassing and worldwide use of microelectronics), even if the rate of added value increases, the mass of added value at the level of total capital must, so to speak, as a real tendency in capitalism, continue to decrease. (Cf. Kurz 2012: 274ff.) In this context, however, Michael Heinrich would first have to agree that the added value produced by individual capital results from the multiplication of the added value incorporated in the individual commodity with the material scope of production, which can increase enormously despite a low input of living labor, and consequently also the total value mass of capital. If, moreover, the value of constant capital (c) falls faster than its material volume increases due to new production methods, then at least the profit rate in the overall tendency does not fall either. What makes the problem here even more complicated is undoubtedly the fact that individual capitals today orientate their rules and controls primarily on the relation of profit and interest rates or on even more differentiated coefficients such as capitalization, which are realized, so to speak, blindly through their strategies and operations. Therefore it does not have to be mainly, as Kurz assumes, about the aspect of the absolute mass of added value for society as a whole or about the total mass of value with a simultaneously dwindling share of living labor. It is precisely at this point, however, that the “contradiction” between exponentially increasing material growth and declining value production or value substance is supposed to take effect, as the argumentations of Kurz or Trenkle/Lohoff want to demonstrate, which in the case of the latter authors, in recourse to Moishe Postone’s so-called “treadmill effect”, takes place within the framework of constantly rising productivity standards: The decrease of the value mass and with it the added value mass as a whole is not only accompanied by a fall in the profit rate, but also always by a decrease in the value of the individual products. In view of the decreasing value mass per individual product, there is only one way for individual capital to escape the decrease of the total value mass and added value mass, namely by expanding production. But the higher the productivity on the level of the total complex of capital, according to Lohoff/Trenkle, the lower would be the added value incorporated in the individual commodity, and the stronger would appear the necessity for individual capital to produce an ever greater material output in order to maintain the continuity and constancy of value-added production in the first place, and the sharper would be the pressure of competition between companies, which in turn would create an ever stronger objective compulsion to further increase productivity. (Cf. Lohoff/Trenkle 2012: 105f.) This means that individual capital must either increase output in existing manufacturing sectors, or it must find new resources, develop new sectors for the production of goods.

ltimately, the forced increase in productivity is actually rendering living labor increasingly ineffective at the level of total capital as well, truly a problem for capital, which it cannot solve despite the permanent effort to reduce wages or increase the relative and absolute rate of added value, because in the end, capital would not only have eliminated the cost factor of labor or “rationalization” by means of “rationalization”, but also the cost factor of the labor, or the rate of added value. the number of workers, but, with the elimination of living labor from the production processes, it would also have reduced the only and unique source of added value, thus ultimately causing the absolute mass of value and added value at the level of total capital to melt away. So first of all, the main features of the argumentation. (Cf. Ortlieb 2008: 14ff.)


Although shifts are quite possible in the context of relative and absolute value added production, the authors claim that these shifts could enable an increase in the value-added mass at the level of individual capital through the attainment of temporary extra profits, the value-added mass of society as a whole would have to continue to decline regardless of relative and absolute increases in value added per worker or individual capital, since with constant use of monetary capital the number of applicable labor forces decreases more and more in total, thus it would depend on the relation between the decrease of the number of labor forces and the percentage increase of the relative surplus value production, whereby the increase of the relative surplus value could not overcompensate the logic of an erosion of the “value substance as such” from a certain point on. (Cf. Short 2012: 282) Of course, under certain aspects it is conceivable that, due to the increase in productivity, the number of applicable labor force decreases to such an extent that the increase in relative value added per labor force can no longer compensate for the decrease in total value added induced by the elimination of labor from the production process, or, to put it in other words, increasing productivity on the one hand increases the relative added value per worker, but on the other hand reduces the number of workers employed to such an extent that less and less living labor is expended per product, thus tending to melt the total added value mass. And Kurz actually understands this as an irreversible and potentiating process within the internal history of capitalism through its correction and compensation mechanisms, which even the external expansion or creation of the world market as well as the technological components with their potencies of process and product innovation cannot stop it until finally – as Kurz ironically points out himself – the added value would only be produced and realized in homeopathic doses; but no, Kurz does not want to go that far, instead he cites a moderately difficult arithmetical problem to substantiate his economic collapse theory: In order to produce quantities of goods capital-immanently in a future production period induced by increased productivity, one would have to use a higher number of workers than would become superfluous through the productivity-oriented reduction of the workload, and only if this were the case, then the lower value per good qua productivity increase could be more than compensated by the higher number of marketable goods, and exactly this would no longer take place with the worldwide introduction and establishment of microelectronics as a fundamental global technology – there would be a dramatic increase in cheap mountains of goods, while at the same time the labor markets would collapse massively. (Ibid.: 294ff.)


Thus, there must also be a limit at the level of total capital at which (monetary) output can no longer be increased to the extent necessary to at least maintain or allow the total added value mass to grow despite the increase in the rate of added value, which ultimately means that the total added value generated in a previous period is no longer sufficient beyond this limit to allow an increase in total capital, which in turn could prevent a decrease in the total social added value mass in the following period. From a certain point of turnover (∆ c = m), the realized added value (m) is no longer sufficient to purchase sufficient means of production (c) for the following period, which calls into question the accumulation of capital, unless recourse is had to credit, fictitious capital, etc. Thus, if for the coming production period the new capital (c2 + v) required to obtain at least the given number of workers is greater than the turnover of the previous period ( c1+ v + m), then the volume of capital needed to produce at least the same value mass as in the previous period can no longer be financed solely from the sales of the previous period. The turnover point, at which the sales from the previous period are still sufficient to finance the necessary investments in the following period, with which all workers can continue to be employed, is therefore included: c2+ v = c1+ v + m. (Samol 2013: 32)


If we assume with Heinrich that the value of constant capital (c) falls faster than its material volume increases in most cases, then the profit rate in the overall tendency does not fall. The question arises here, how all enterprises, which use means of production, should succeed in selling their already produced goods at the old (higher) value and at the same time buy means of production at the new (lower) value. This is especially true for the producers of means of production (c). What represents a reduction in the price of new capital for the buyers of (c) is tantamount to a devaluation of their goods for the producers of (c). In order to solve this problem, one would have to assume that all buyers, without exception, benefit when they purchase the (c) produced in the previous production period at its new, lower value, while at the same time all enterprises without exception – and thus also the producers of means of production – have fully realized the value of their goods produced in the previous period. For the advocates of Kurz & Co, this proves to be impossible, so that the manufacturers of means of production are no longer able to realize the full value of their goods. This problem is aggravated by the devaluation of fixed capital, insofar as parts of existing tools, machines, etc., whose value has not yet been transformed into products, lose value due to the new level of productivity, which Marx called “moral wear and tear”. In the case of moral attrition, due to an increased general level of productivity, machines which could still be technically used are to be replaced by more productive machines. In addition, the permanent decline in the value of machinery and the goods produced demands both a reduction in the turnover times of capital and longer daily machine running times in order to counter the constant threat of devaluation. The reduction in the price of constant capital, as Heinrich noted in the course of the increase in productivity, would thus possibly slow down the fall of the profit rate, but could not stop the general decline of the mass of value and profit. Moreover, one would have to do with a reduction of labor force, insofar as the reduction in the price of constant capital leads to a saving of labor force in Department I. Indeed, with the continuous increase of productivity the share of labor is indeed shrinking, but it would be necessary to examine first now how the efficiency of the employed labor, of constant capital or machine productivity develops, in order to make viable statements about the tendency of profit rates and profit masses. Against the view, which refers back to a stringent logical-historical tendency towards the reduction of living labor in the capitalist production processes, Marazzi, as a representative of the theory of a new cognitive capitalism, has objected the following: “Contrary to all theories that assume a linear causal relationship between technological innovation and necessary labor, the quantity of labor has not decreased but increased. Science […] embodied in fixed capital allows the industrial part of labor to be eliminated. However, parallel to the decline of industrial labor, the quantity of communicative labor is increasing […]. Work is, so to speak, ‘intellectualized’, […] but it remains exhausting living work. (Marazzi 2005)
Furthermore, the argumentation of Kurz & Co presupposes that only the respective distance between necessary working time and overtime is taken into consideration for the determination of added value, while operaistically influenced theorists such as Paolo Virno, for example, assume that production time (with which Marx, among others, drew the distinction between living working time and functional time of machines, which is so important for the description of machine added value, as the so-called Parts of production time) as the decisive temporal factor in determining profit and is therefore also extended, which leads to a higher utilization of operational capacities, and this happens primarily through the introduction of an extremely effective machine system (microtechnologies, whose modes of operation are decisively responsible for the respective production time, see Virno 2005: 147f.) In this respect, production time can now finally flow continuously, with the workers as functions of coordination, control and monitoring alongside the automated and digitized production process. (ibid.: 148) And consequently, companies today not only condense production time at the operational level, but also integrate into production time external phases of non-work, in which the wage earners first learn and practice skills necessary for production, such as social competence, cooperative behavior, affects and language. The so-called general intellect, which Marx identified above all in the capital fixe, knowledge and research results objectified in machine technologies (MEW 42: 602), has thus long since encompassed the communication and cooperation capabilities of living labor – language capabilities, conceptual schemata and logical conclusions, even language games are integrated into production time. Overall, the so-called “social brain” is responsible for the fact that this form of capacity, which cannot be separated from the bodies and their cognitive abilities, inaugurates a higher potency of value creation. At the same time, the talkative, even garrulous work articulates itself internally in a hyper-communicative field of interaction and circulates along the paths of communication by means of communication, along the processes and strategies of sense proliferation and grafting, yes, finally of sense dissemination, which are by no means linked to (subsequent) understanding alone, but are professionally produced and organized by means of the fictitious criteria of ubiquitously flourishing consulting and coaching organizations. At the same time, there is an increasing generation of added value outside of the immediate (industrial) production processes, which points to the loss of significance of fixed capital not only in terms of its physical side, but also in terms of its monetary forms, and thus requires new possibilities of financialization and capitalization, and this precisely with the striking enforcement and establishment of information and communication technologies. (Cf. Marazzi 2012: 19)
In general, value-added production can only be understood as an exploitation of internal and external monetary differences, which means that the problem of overheating/crisis is not primarily articulated as a surplus of goods, but above all as an unusable surplus of capital (overaccumulation), as the Japanese economist Uno Kōzō has compellingly demonstrated. (Cf. Karatani 2012: 170) Since the number of workers fluctuates only to a limited extent-it can neither be increased easily when demand rises nor reduced easily when there is an oversupply-this factor, even when the influence of the industrial reserve army is included, has only a relatively limited influence on the cyclical movements of capital. As a tendency, real wages will rise in the climate of the boom and will exert a slight pressure on profit rates, which must always be put in relation to interest rates, although these will also rise because of the increased credit issue in the boom, so that with apparently stable profit rates and stable demand, production will continue until overheating, which can be articulated as an overproduction of capital, which, however, can always only be determined retrospectively. For these observations, Marxist or neo-Keynesian economists like Hyman Minsky have developed useful models that clearly contradict a linear collapse theory. (Cf. Minsky 2011) At the same time, one should also distance oneself from the cycle metaphor that serves to depict capital cycles, because the point is not to think of a Hegelian cycle à la the end is the beginning or its deconstruction, as Derrida, for example, demonstrated, but to take the image of the spiral that we find in Marx really seriously: To be precise, the accumulation of capital is usually a matter of reproductions on a progressive scale. (MEW 24: 485ff.) Thus the cycle of simple reproduction, according to Sismondi’s expression, is transformed into the movement of a permanently multiplying value, into a spiral movement. (MEW 23: 170) The constantly rising loops of the spiral – inasmuch as capital’s identity with itself does not take place, as there is no end in sight that could be a beginning – lead apparently without detour into progressively narrowing loops of the spiral, the escalation of which then culminates in the fact that the circulation time of capital finally tends towards zero. Then, however, it would not be the lack of exploitable living labor that would have to be understood, but time as the absolute barrier for capital. We come in capital on the temporal modalities of capital. Thus it would also be shortened, as Marazzi demonstrates, to counter the argumentation of Kurz & Co only with the historical factuality of a globally expanded use of the number of workers, taking into account the new cognitive works as a potential for extracting added value, whereby for Marazzi, too, living labor is and remains the only source of added value. With regard to the problem of the melting away of added value, it is precisely the factors mentioned above, such as machine added value, efficiency of the labor employed and of constant capital, compression and extension of production time, the relationship between profit rate and interest rate, exploitation of differences in relative added value production on the markets, etc., that are important. This finally makes it possible to escape from a narrow-minded standpoint that insists on an economically based theory of the collapse of capitalism through the so-called melting away of the abstract-living value substance at the level of total capital. On a methodological level, perhaps following Paul Feyerabend, it could be argued here that theories could be developed that take care of empiricism by sufficiently analyzing the facts in order to possibly model them (facts are produced facticities), while at the same time producing the epistemological object, and this on the terrain of a very specific conceptual problem, as Althusser would again add (against Feyerabend). This is achieved by means of descriptions, conceptual constellations and hypotheses that construct the reality of capital as a conceptual representation, and the explication of an algebraic logic or models that capture the mathematics of capital. Economic science is a non-anecdotal empiricism in the last instance, which uses the generic methods of framing reality. It requires a non-discursive study of economic math, which is specifically related to the conceptual darsellung (this is where non-philosophy comes in). And, as Marx correctly diagnosed, the real object remains unchanged before and after the realization, but it can of course influence, even destroy, the theory: The more reality filters and contaminates the theoretical approaches, the more it filters and contaminates them.
In his writings, Kurz notes an unstoppable historical increase in non-value-added unproductive labor, which in his opinion can no longer be compensated for by the expansion of productive sectors on a global scale, although Kurz doubts that China, for example, or the Asian region as a whole will be able to bring about a significant increase in the exploitation of human labor in the long term. What about the millions (an estimated 500 million workers are currently employed in the so-called industrial sectors of the so-called emerging economies) of newly integrated workers, especially in Asia, who could possibly stop both the melting away of living labor and the decline of the general profit rate? Lohoff/Trenkle argue at this point that for the socially relevant expenditure of living labor, which materializes in the total value mass at a certain point in time, it is not absolute hours worked that are decisive, but abstract working hours that are necessary on average for society. If, for example, 500 jobs in China could be replaced by a single job in the USA, then only this one job with this relevant average value would be included in the socially valid value mass in the global framework. We have commented on this.
Kurz adds that capitalism would probably no longer be able to use technological progress reasonably efficiently or even intensify it in order to establish a higher level of productivity worldwide in the long run, because the productive sector has simply become too small or weak.

In the article Of flying cars and the declining rate of profit, which appeared in June 2012 in the journal Baffler, Graeber also spoke, albeit with a different weighting than Kurz, which focuses on the melting away of the living substance of value, of the fact that capitalism has not confirmed or even realized a single one of its grand predictions regarding the potential of technological progress in the last fifty years, be it totally robotized companies, bases on the moon or robots in private use, even the leisure time of humans has decreased, the fight against cancer has not been won for a long time and the climate catastrophe is just around the corner. In his essay Is US economic growth over?, the US economist Gordon also argues that factors such as the increasing aging of societies, growing economic inequality, weakening competitive pressure on the large dominant companies, lack of education, climate catastrophe and debt have led to a stagnation of (technological) growth in the USA and the western industrial nations. (Gordon 2013) Thus, despite its tendency to accelerate, capitalism seems to inhibit rather than promote certain potentials of technology, as shown, for example, by patent wars and struggles over copyright, which are more indicative of a deceleration of technological progress, although it does not seem impossible by any means that capitalism will enable further advances, for example in robotics, nanotechnology or 3-D technology within the framework of bio-informatic fractality. Indeed, capitalism needs its very specific technological apparatuses, and this precisely with regard to the transformation of the “question of technology” into a logic of information, of (technological) epistemology in the field of molecular biology, of genetic engineering, of the posthuman design of natural and human forms of life.


Important for the problem of progress/growth or the ongoing phase of decline or even the economic collapse of capitalism seems to be the problem of productive labor in addition to factors such as the fall of the profit rate and the reduction of the profit mass. Finally, the economically based collapse theory of Kurz & Co. is always about the logical determination/definition of the term productive work. We can only briefly note here that in Marx’s understanding not every form of wage labor is considered “productive”, but only the one that actually produces added value. Marx wrote the following about this in the theories of the surplus value: “An actor, for example, even a clown, is according to this a productive worker if he works in the service of a capitalist (the entrepreneur), to whom he gives back more work than he receives from him in the form of salaries, while a mending machine that comes to the capitalist’s house and mends his pants, giving him a mere utility value, is an unproductive worker. The labor of the former exchanges itself for capital, that of the latter for revenue. The first creates a surplus value; in the second a revenue is consumed. (MEW 26.1: 127) Thus the work of a clown who works for the private pleasure of the capitalist and is paid out of the capitalist’s revenue is indeed to be regarded as unproductive, and only when the clown, for example, is not productive is it productive. Only when the clown, for example, works in the Sarrasani Circus in front of spectators and pays them entrance fees, which brings in a profit for the owner, only then does the clown’s work, without anything concrete or qualitative having changed in comparison to the work of the clown who works for the private pleasure of the capitalist, transform into work that generates added value and is therefore productive. Unproductive work, on the other hand, does not contribute to value-added production, but is paid from the surplus value as so-called revenue, thus reducing the potency of capitalist accumulation. In this context, Marx accused Adam Smith, for example, of constantly mixing the “material determinations of labor” with its social determinations of form. (Ibid.: 122/127) It should be added that the restriction of the concept of productive labor to that of an exclusively value-added-producing activity corresponds to a technically-medially ordered integration of labor into relational structures of functions and positions in the production apparatuses, so that the moment of differential value-added already takes effect at the level of organization. It emerges from differential relations that only take place under very specific technological conditions, which in turn control the economic mathematics and its algorithmization, even before the realization of goods in circulation and, in the course of the transformation of added value into profit, a further differentiation of added value takes place.

Today there are good reasons to consider both the so-called services and the work that produces information, under very specific conditions, as potentially value-added activities, which would at least confirm, from a broader perspective, the tendency that Marazzi mentioned to increase the quantity of living labor in corresponding production processes. Service should be defined as a transformation, through labor, of a material thing that is owned by the person who requests the service, with the service being provided by non-owners, the so-called service providers. (Cf. Quaas 2013a: 4) In this case, the service provider (hairdresser, shoeshine boy, beautician, etc.) remains the owner of his most important work equipment that he needs for his activity, whereby he works on “objects” such as hair, face or shoes, which are to be understood from the outset as the property of someone else. It seems quite possible, however, that the products of services, e.g., machines restored by repair, function in production processes and are also storable, which in turn means that not every service has to disappear immediately with its consumption, although there are of course services that disappear in the process of being created (beautician or shoeshine boy on the street). And the process “service” is precisely then clamped into the network of the “productive” money capital cycles (which of course make it a process of potential added value production), if a) it is a so-called investive use and not just a purely consuming consumption of the service, and if b) one can expect that a profit is realized with the price of the product of the service. It should therefore not be the, as always justified, reference to materiality that ultimately defines value-added or productive work, but rather services as investive and thus potentially value-adding production processes take place according to a thoroughly Marxist interpretation precisely when the corresponding services are included in capitalized production and the realization of its goods, for example, when the services are used for the production of goods, when a painting company finishes the construction of a factory hall with the design of the facades, thus creating value, the value of the product “design” has become objective in the value of the factory hall, which in the following years is successively transferred through depreciation to the value of the products manufactured in the factory hall. (Ibid.:11) Or one buys the entire material of a factory hall in individual parts and commissions a service company to build or assemble the parts, the result being an installed factory hall, which will certainly stand for a few years to produce profitable goods. And finally, with regard to the concept of information work, it can be said in a similar way that the materiality of the manufactured product alone can hardly be regarded as the decisive determining factor for value-added production; initially, information always has a material carrier, be it, according to Brown, moving gas molecules, sound waves propagating in water, concrete or other materials, electromagnetic fields, hard disks or other storage devices. Now certain kinds of information can hardly be used profitably, but on the other hand information can also be kept scarce or others can be excluded from using the knowledge/information and thus information can be sold profitably. In the case of Microsoft, for example, no one would deny this; at best it would still be a matter of debate whether this kind of informationalization is the extraction of added value or the skimming off of information rent. And indeed, social values such as truth, power, justice and beauty should also be considered as objective wealth, i.e. as carrying exchange value. Roads as parts of the infrastructure function as collective means of production for capital and therefore have to be considered productive state expenditure, universities or hospitals as productive enterprises when they invent profitable drugs, technologies and apparatus. (Cf. Harvey 2013: 86) But the traditional Marxist economist does not see value-added production or objective (abstract) wealth that is not produced agriculturally or industrially; he negates the wealth that is viewed from the point of view of communication industries, transportation, technologies, knowledge and language, power relations and their power relations, rights or, for example, aesthetic design – factors that can produce all objectively valid wealth. The sources of wealth, including abstract capitalist wealth, are manifold and often very complex.

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