Viewing posts tagged labour theory of value


"Look, all I do is take a little from people who have too much and then I spread it around a bit.  I help to keep the economy in balance."

"But if that piece of jethryk is so valuable, why don't you just sell it?  Then you'd have plenty to give to those who need it."

"Oh, I don't think its worth that much."

But why doesn't he think it's "worth that much"?  His whole plan is predicated upon the idea that the Graff will want to buy Ribos because it possesses a rich seam of, in the Graff's words, "the rarest and most valuable mineral in the galaxy"!

There's only one explanation.  Differing conceptions of value.

The Graff wants the jethryk because he can sell it and buy ships, soldiers, weapons, etc (ie for its exchange value).  The Doctor and Romana want the jethryk because it's also the first segment of the Key to Time (ie it has an intrinsic use value).  Garron wants it because its a means to an end.  He could sell it and live off the proceeds... but then he ...

Harry Potter and the Labour Theory of Value

Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. 
- Marx & Engels, The Communist Manifesto

In this post, I noticed that Star Trek portrays the society of the future as essentially capitalist (in all but name) despite the fact that the people of the Federation have 'Replicators' that can summon material objects out of pure energy. Such a development of the forces of production ought to have banished scarcity of any description, thus also banishing any need for the exploitation of labour, the extraction of surplus and the existence of class, along with many other features of capitalism which persist (open or half-hidden) in the Roddenberry/Berman utopia.  In short, given the technology it possesses, the Federation ought to look a lot more like 'the Culture' of Iain M. Banks' (though, actually, the Culture is as much a liberal vision as it is socialist or anarchist... with its dependence upon the benevolent dictatorship of super-smart AIs ...

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