Sweden and market socialism

Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU
Wed Nov 8 18:38:32 MST 1995

Scott posts:

|> lowering of the First World's workforce's living
|> standards do you think is necessary for socialist
|> justice?  Or are there <realistic> ways of building
|> socialism which do not require generalized material
|> sacrifice by First world workers?
|Absolutely none. This whole argument, including notions of masses of
|workers in the industrialized countries 'living off the labor' of third
|world workers is bunk that lets the capitalists completely off the hook.
|No wonder folks are so anxious to disprove the labor theory of value.
|How convienent, now we can blame exploitation on the 'high living
|standards' of some workers at the expense of others.

Just thought, as one who spends (part of) his time trying to
debunk the labor theory of value, that I tend to agree with Scott.
As it happens, I believe that my approach (which sees value productivity
as flowing from a technology, rather than only the exploitation of
labor power) has the consequence that the far better living standards
of workers in the First World are a product of the technological
status of that World, rather than a consequence of living off the
super-exploited workers of the Third World.

That is not to argue that such super-exploitation does not exist, nor
that--to some extent--Western affluence may be underwritten by Third
World poverty. But I see these as additional factors, rather than
root causes.

Steve Keen
PS It does also help explain why "folks are so anxious to disprove the
labor theory of value", if playing with it can lead to such conclusions
as the above. Maybe it is a two-edged sword...

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