P2P Foundation's blog

Researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices


    Sites/Publications


    Bookmarks

    More in Diigo »

    Books


    Free Software, Free Society

    Community


Admin


Featured Book

“Stop, Thief!” – Peter Linebaugh's New Collection of Essays


Open Calls


Mailing List

Subscribe

Translate

  • Recent Comments:

    • @mikeriddell62: A universally accepted IOU that is earned into existence for protecting the common good, would counter-balance the wasteful...

    • Patrick Anderson: How important is the price of using these shared vehicles? If price is not important, then why not just use regular rental...

    • Apostolis Xekoukoulotakis: I am quite disappointed by the intellectual integrity of both reviewers ,Marvin Brown and Charles Andrews and this is...

    • Bob Haugen: Marvin Brown: Best critique of Piketty’s book yet!

    • Charles A: A Marxist review of Piketty’s book is at http://mltoday.com/professor-p iketty-fights-orthodoxy-and-at tacks-inequality

Peer Money

photo of Kevin Carson

Kevin Carson
9th June 2009


Christian Siefkes denies that money and markets are “more or less neutral tools which can be used for non-capitalist purposes,” arguing that since money and markets were never the primary means of organizing production in a non-capitalist society, money “cannot become the dominant social form outside of capitalism.”

.

I would note, in passing, that that “cannot” is an amazing inductive leap, based as it is on a statistical population of one. We have seen the rise of only one capitalist world system, which is also the only known system in which exchange has been the dominant economic form. To say that the two are necessarily linked, that things could not have developed differently, or that the exchange economy could not have occurred without capitalism, is to erect an enormous superstructure of inference on a very narrow base of fact.

.

Siefkes insists that “peer money” (which he puts in quotation marks) is

.

a contradiction in terms, because money incorporates the capitalist logic (the logic of exchange), which is totally different from the logic of peer production.

.

Stefan Merten, in a post to the Oekonux list, argued that capitalism is inherent in the DNA of market exchange:

.

There are those apple trees (aka capitalism or any exchange based system) and these apple trees have lots of drawbacks. Those advocating money trickery basically say: Well, though the apple trees are bad there are these apple tree seeds (aka exchange). If we modify the seeds somehow the problems with the apple trees will vanish. Someone who does not believe in money trickery now says: Well, that position ignores the nature of the apple trees…. In short: It is the nature of the apple tree seed (aka exchange) to end up in an apple tree (aka given the historical circumstances: capitalism).

.

The only “capitalist logic” is artificial scarcity. Capitalist DNA is defined primarily by artificial scarcity, not by markets and exchange.

.

Exchange, in and of itself, is simply the exchange of equivalents between producers. It is unequal exchange that is at the root of all of the evils of capitalism.

.

The purpose of non-capitalist exchange, as of peer production, is to facilitate the transformation of effort into use value. Peer production is a way for cooperatively organized labor to create use value without the impediments of proprietary technology; even if consumption is not directly tied to effort, the purpose of the system is to remove all impediments to collective transformation of effort into the means of subsistence as efficiently as possible—to enable people, collectively, to subsist with a minimum of wasted effort. The non-capitalist market, likewise, is a way for producers to exchange product for product without the interference of false scarcities or the payment of tribute to the holders of artificial property claims.

.

Further, even if much or most of production in a non-capitalist society is organized, alongside peer production, for money exchange, there is no reason that the share of production that is organized for reciprocal exchange cannot steadily fall as larger and larger shares of material production experience imploding production costs and take on an increasing character of “free beer” as opposed to “free speech.” And there is likewise no reason that exchange-value (the economic value created by materials and labor, as the basis of commodity price) cannot fall drastically relative to the total use-value, as the costs of required labor and material inputs implode.

.

And besides, the assertion that peer money assumes money exchange as the primary organizing logic of economic life is a strawman. Advocacy for peer money does not entail any particular assumptions concerning the relative size of the money and non-money spheres. It simply asserts that money, depending on which of a variety of forms it takes, can coexist harmoniously or inharmoniously with the peer economy—and calls for money systems designed for harmony with the peer economy. The dominant logic of the system may be non-monetary, with a growing majority of all use value possessing no exchange value. But for the portion of use value that remains scarce and carries monetary value, the money system should be designed to eliminate artificial scarcity, and to operate in a non-exploitative manner. Siefkes and Merten argue that this is impossible: since money is inherently capitalistic, the money sector should simply be left as it is—and then minimized, supplanted and replaced as much as possible. The sphere of economic activity amenable to peer production should be expanded as quickly as possible, and the irredeemable money sector quarantined in hopes that it will die out.

.

At the root of the disagreement between peer money advocates, on the one hand, and Siefkes and Merten on the other, is a disagreement on the place of credit and interest in the larger capitalist economy (reflected in Merten’s rather obnoxious dismissal as “money trickery” of all attempts to reduce the exploitative character of capitalism through non-capitalist money). For Siefkes and Merten, interest-bearing money is purely instrumental and rational, and carries no innate exploitative character which is not entirely secondary and derivative of the exploitative character of industrial capital. The interest on money reflects the rate of profit it could be expected to earn if invested in productive capital. And the rate of profit on capital is inherent in wage labor, via the difference in value between labor’s product and the price of labor-power.

.

For Marxists, capital is the unique factor in that its price is not determined by the cost of supplying it. The mere fact of the capitalist’s owning capital is the source of surplus value.

.

For me, an individualist anarchist, the opposite is true. The natural value of labor-power, in a free and non-capitalist market, is the product of labor. Individualist anarchists consider labor to be the unique factor in that it is the one commodity whose price is not determined by the cost of production. It is the natural state of affairs, in a free and non-capitalist market, for the price of labor to be determined by the disutility of supplying it, rather than the cost of reproducing it. And it is the natural state of affairs for the price of capital to be determined by the cost of supplying it. It is artificial scarcity of capital—namely, state restraints on competition among those supplying it, and state restraints on direct worker access to the means of production and subsistence—that enables capitalists to charge a premium for access to capital, and pay workers a wage less than their full labor-product. A major component of the gross rate of interest is an artificial scarcity-premium, resulting from entry barriers and restraints on competition in the supply of credit. This artificial scarcity and artificial expense of capital reduces the bargaining power of labor, and thereby affects the rate of profit on industrial capital. For Marxists, the rate of interest derives from the rate of profit; for individualist anarchists, the reverse is true. And if Bauwens and other advocates of peer money are not individualist anarchists, they share the same understanding that the structure of money itself affects the exploitative character of capitalist production.

.

The purpose of open-source and P2P is not to eliminate exchange in and of itself, but to eliminate artificial scarcity. The philosophy of open-source and P2P does not involve only eliminating scarcity and cost in the cognitive realm, where the marginal cost of reproduction is zero (software, music, etc.). It also entails eliminating unnecessary costs of physical production.

.

That means, for starters, eliminating the portion of commodity price that results from embedded rents on artificial property rights. This category includes proprietary designs. It includes oligopoly markup from restricted competition resulting from proprietary design, and “intellectual property” restrictions on competition in producing generic spare parts and modular accessories for competitors’ platforms. It includes markup from IP-dependent designs that discourage ease of repair and reuse. It includes markup for patented or contractually mandated accessories (cheap glucometers plus expensive testing strips, cheap printers plus expensive cartridges, cheap phones with expensive service plans, etc.).

.

It means a radical reduction in capital outlays for physical production, as the application of the homebrew ethos to the physical realm results in miniaturization and order-of-magnitude cost implosions of miniaturized machine tools and other desktop production machinery.

.

It means an implosion of overhead costs as larger and larger shares of our physical production needs are met through the informal and household economies, using spare capacity of ordinary household capital goods most people already own (microbakeries using ordinary kitchen ovens, unlicensed cab services with only a used car and a cell phone, etc.).

.

More specifically related to our purposes, in discussing peer money, it means that ordinary people can perform the capital-aggregating functions previously performed by the capitalist financial sector, without paying tribute for them.

.

Andreas Wittel, in a post to the P2P Research list, asks

.

So why tinkering at the edges of a monetary system, why creating new ones? How could new monetary systems stop or even diminish the exploitation of labour power? If they can’t, why bother? Of course I am not suggesting that work towards a new monetary system should be abandoned in the p2p community. I just don’t see the point. I would like to focus my inquiries on the question how the p2p community can contribute to a fairer system of monetary exchange for labour (= value)

.

The answer is that ordinary producers, by using networked, crowdsourced, cooperative forms of social lending to aggregate their own small capitals into larger sums of investment capital, can finance worker-owned enterprises through their own self-organized financial system—thus eliminating the monopoly rents previously paid to the state-privileged, state-licensed banking sector for providing that service.

.

We should keep in mind that the primary function of money isn’t to serve as a store of value. For the purposes of local economies, it is more important as a measure of value for facilitating exchange. Local currencies, LETS systems and other barter networks, provide liquidity to facilitate exchange of future products or services between ordinary producers who may not have accumulated stores of past value. Local currencies enable producers to directly exchange their wares within a network, without the intermediary of conventional money from the outside capitalist economy.

.

Thomas Hodgskin, writing in the 1830s, demolished the “labor fund”defense of profit by pointing out that wages aren’t paid by the capitalist out of accumulated past production. They are, rather, advanced from current production by some workers against future production by other workers. The same function, of coordinating exchange of future products, could be carried out cooperatively by workers themselves. By preempting the function and monopolizing it through a state-privileged banking system, the capitalist or financier is able to collect tribute for it.

.

If the realization of capital follows a circuit, as described by Marx in Capital, the same is also true of labor. The circuit of labor is highly vulnerable to disruption. And the more steps in the circuit, the more likely it is to be broken, and the more likely the realization of labor (the transformation of labor into use-value, through the indirect means of exchanging one’s own labor for wages, and exchanging those wages for use-value produced by someone else’s labor) is to fail. When we participate in the capitalist economy, we must first obtain money by either selling our services to a capitalist wage employer or amassing the startup capital for a high-overhead, high-risk conventional business to sell one’s services to the customer. Then we take the money and use it to hire the services of others, with the a major part of the price going to the overhead costs of a conventional capitalist enterprise, and the capitalist employer perhaps taking his cut as well. Local money systems, by promoting direct exchange between producers, eliminate many of the insecurities and uncertainties of the capitalist economy. By reducing the intermediate steps between production and consumption, they also reduce the contingency involved in consumption.

.

Michel Bauwens recently argued, contra Siefkes, that “there are important aspects of monetary transformation that are related to the peer to peer agenda.”

.

The most important thing to remember is that the peer to peer dynamic requires free or very easy access to means of production, and that this mostly works for the production of non-rival immaterial goods, but that the production of physical goods, even if the designs can be open and free, need cost recovery mechanisms….

.

…For peer to peer self aggregation to occur, we need distributed infrastructures. Only if the individuals have control over their own means of production, can they freely self-aggregate. That we can do peer production of knowledge, software and designs is because knowledge workers have access to computers and a socialized internetwork. If we had distributed machinery, more distributed access to capital, more self-aggregation could occur.

.

…Peer to peer is about non-rival goods that can be reproduced at marginal cost and abundantly.

.

The more we can engineer abundance, the more this can happen. But classic capitalist money is about engineering scarcity, as are capitalist markets generally. Monetary transformation is aimed at creating sufficient money supplies, accessible by all.

.

In Bauwens’ recent debate with Michael Albert at Znet, Albert seemed preoccupied with the idea that peer production applies only in the immaterial realm, where the costs and permissions for obtaining inputs are negligible and the marginal cost of reproduction is zero.

.

If some group produces outputs that require inputs, it would have to get the inputs. It would have to get the labor. People could say no. Permissions, and perhaps acquisitions, are involved. More, peer to peer seems to be only about undertaking joint ventures that have no significant costs. Is that right?

.

But this misses the whole point, which we have seen above: that the cost of inputs, even in physical production, is not just a given but itself a dependent variable that can be affected by peer organization.

.

Rather than there being an impermeable dividing line between qualitatively distinct categories of market and peer production, it is more accurate to say that physical production can become more “peer-like,” even when some aspects of it are governed by market exchange, as the costs of physical production fall. The difference between cognitive and physical production, and between free speech and free beer, is one of degree rather than of kind.

.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditShare

12 Responses to “Peer Money”

  1. Christian Siefkes Says:

    Note that the arguments which you attribute to me were really from a talk by Raoul Victor, which I merely summarized. I would largely agree with him, that’s for sure, but credit should go where it is due.

    This also means that what you refer to as “argument” is really just a short outline of the line of argumentation put forward by somebody else. So instead of complaining about the “very narrow base of fact”, you would have to read Raoul’s full talk/paper (not sure if it has already been published, but that certainly will happen as part of the ox4 documentation) instead of relying on my short summary which is obviously incomplete.

    It is unequal exchange that is at the root of all of the evils of capitalism.

    That’s very wrong, see my article:
    Marx’ Theory of Value and Why Exchange Can Be “Equal” and Still Bad.

    All the later disagreements between Marxists and “individualist anarchists”, which you resume quite nicely, follow from that one basic disagreement.

    Just a final point: don’t equate “cost recovery mechanisms” with the need for “peer money”. On the one hand, I describe a non-monetary cost recovery mechanism in my book; on the other hand, “normal” money can be used for cost recovery as long as we’re still living in a largely money-based world (indeed, when we’re referring to the recovery of external costs that must be paid to “normal”, capitalist producers, “normal” money is the only one that will do since they wouldn’t accept any other).

  2. Jo Jordan Says:

    Hope you are picking up the Reith lectures on BBC. Began this morning on a similar topic.

  3. Michel Bauwens Says:

    Anyone has the links on comment #2?

  4. Sepp Hasslberger Says:

    I find myself in substantial agreement with Kevin here – exchange itself is not what’s bad. It is unequal exchange.

    Unequal exchange is based on artificial scarcity.

    Artificial scarcity can only be brought about and maintained by state-mandated and state-upheld monopolies.

    Examples of those damaging monopolies are numerous.

    Money is one of them. State mandated bank money promotes money scarcity and is at the root of the need to “pay for the use of money”, leading to a very unequal exchange.

    Health care is another of those monopolies. State mandated exclusivity of pharmaceutical production and medical licensing have made health care so expensive as to be practically outside the budgetary possibilities of many countries. While pharmaceutical companies and medical insurers are hugely profitable, the price for drugs and services have skyrocketed.

    As another example, intellectual property laws are guarantees by State power to monopoly-type interests. Also in this category would be the control (and sale) of the right to use frequency bands for purposes of telecommunications and the insanely high barriers of entry for production of cars for example, where you practically need a production series before you can obtain certification of a car for public sale.

    Of course this has been recognized and we have anti-trust laws, but within the logic of capitalism, those laws are just another challenge to overcome. Consequently, corruption has hollowed out those laws to where they have become practically ineffective.

    The P2P logic will have to overcome those gatekeepers of artificial scarcity that are the laws and government regulations which – in one way or another – restrict who may do what. For a real P2P economy to take off, all those monopolies will have to gradually be dismantled.

  5. P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Peer Money » Post » netv news Says:

    [...] Read the original here:  P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Peer Money [...]

  6. P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Peer Money » Post » netv news Says:

    [...] See more here: P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Peer Money [...]

  7. Michel Bauwens Says:

    Christian, I have listened to Raoul, and his text is here I believe: p2pfoundation.net/Money_and_Peer_Production. I find that Raoul is not saying the things that you say. He says that when you try to artificially suppress money, it comes back, which is something that strengthens our argument. Since it cannot be abolished artificially, then the alternative to regulate it differently becomes a rational option, and this is the only thing we are proposing. So the choice comes down to this: do you prefer a money which is regulated in the interests of a tiny class of financial predators and destroys the productive economy, or is it betterto regulate it in the interest of the majority of the population?

    Michel

  8. Kevin Carson Says:

    Christian:

    First, your argument as to why “exchange can be ‘equal’ and still bad,” to a large extent, consists of the same assertions that I catalogued in my description of points of disagreement between Marxists and individualist anarchists (I don’t see why the latter term should be put in quotes any more than the former, since it is the legitimate name of a real historical movement).

    I stated in my post that Marxists believed exchange as such to contain the seeds of capitalism, and considered exploitation to be inherent in the sale of labor power. But in my post I explained *why* I think the Marxists get it wrong, whereas the article you link consists mainly of the assertion without supporting argument.

    Second, the portion of your article that actually does consist of supporting argument involves mainly an argument (that of “winners” and “losers” in market competition leading to a propertyless proletariat selling its labor on disadvantageous terms) that I attempted to answer in the past on the P2P list–an answer which you never addressed.

    As I pointed out there, under capitalism artificial scarcity rents on land and capital, through the principle of compounding return, enable “winner” status to build on itself over time. Eliminating the role of the state in enforcing such artificial scarcities (such as entry barriers for the supply of secured credit against member property in mutual banks, enforcement of absentee title to vacant and unimproved land, etc.) will severely restrict the ability of the winners’ wealth to grow on itself over time. At the same time, the elimination of such artificial scarcities of land and capital will reduce the cost threshold for acquiring the minimum amount of capital and land needed for comfortable subsistence, so that the “losers” have a lot less distance to fall. Being a “loser” hurts a lot less when you have access to a cottage and means of subsistence on the village commons–which is exactly why the propertied classes fought so hard to enclose the commons on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.

    And as I also pointed out, you conception of “winners” and “losers” seems to reflect a paleotechnic conception of industry, in which enormous capital outlays are the basis for firm boundaries and for the authority relationships within hierarchical firms. But in an economy where the cost of the basic equipment required for physical production are imploding in a growing number of industries, the distinction between “winners” and “losers” becomes increasingly meaningless. When most people own their own living spaces free and clear, and a growing part of subsistence needs can be met through production in household or informal production with almost zero overhead cost because most people already own the basic capital equipment, the very idea of “going out of business” is meaningless.

    Even on a larger scale, in networked manufacturing on the Emilia-Romagna model, the small-scale machinery that’s used is so cheap that it’s entirely feasible for a small workers’ co-op to own it. In the flexible manufacturing networks that characterize such industrial districts, it’s quite uncommon for individual shops to “go out of business” in any conventional sense. Rather, individual shops are constantly entering and leaving particular projects, with constantly shifting contractual relationships between themselves.

    In both cases, the overhead costs are so low that it’s possible to ride out a slow period indefinitely. And in low-overhead flexible production, in which the basic machinery for production is widely affordable and can be easily reallocated to new products, there’s really no such thing as a “business” to go out of. The lower the capitalization required for entering the market, and the lower the overhead to be borne in periods of slow business, the more the labor market takes on a networked, project-oriented character—like, e.g., peer production of software. In free software, and in any other industry where the average producer owns a full set of tools and production centers mainly on self-managed projects, the situation is likely to be characterized not so much by the entrance and exit of discrete “firms” as by a constantly shifting balance of projects, merging and forking, and with free agents constantly shifting from one to another.

    I entirely agree that Marx did not intend the LTV to be normative, but rather descriptive. As Maurice Dobb pointed out in his introduction to The Poverty of Philosophy, Marx wanted to show how it was possible for labor to be exploited even when goods all exchanged at their real labor-value. As Dobb also pointed out, Marx was obliged to take this position and to deny the significance of unequal exchange (just as Engels was obliged to deny Duhring’s “force thesis”) because accepting unequal exchange as the result of privilege would have left him open to the proposals of “petty bourgeois socialists” like Hodgskin to simply remove privilege and unequal exchange and institute a producer-controlled system of market socialism.

    I still do not believe you have demonstrated that wage labor itself puts a disadvantage on the worker. It depends on whether artificial barriers are created to self-employment, and whether the working class (through Enclosures and the like) has been deprived of access to the means of subsistence and production. You have yet to demonstrate that the normal state of affairs in a genuine free market, with free access to vacant land and the provision of capital at cost, is for the worker to have to offer to work for a low enough wage to convince the capitalist to hire him (rather than the capitalist having to offer a high enough wage to be more profitable to the worker than living on his own land and exchanging his surplus produce and other forms of home production with those of his equals). The proper state of affairs in a free market, as opposed to a capitalist market, is for wage employment to compete with self-employment.

    And I believe that the attractions of self-employment will be such, in a society without privilege constraining access to land and capital, that in most cases wage labor will not be found on terms profitable to the employer. So wage employment will be far less prevalent, and with a far lower rate of profit where it exists–and those who do engage in wage labor will be more likely to take it on a part-time basis to supplement subsistence livelihoods, with prolonged periods of self-employment when they wait for terms of employment more to their liking.

    BTW: I do not agree, in fact, that most prices are not unfair. In the monopoly capital sector, superprofits from oligopoly markup, from rents on “intellectual property,” etc., have far surpassed the acquisition of surplus value from the wage labor relationship.

  9. Christian Siefkes Says:

    @Michel:

    I find that Raoul is not saying the things that you say. He says that when you try to artificially suppress money, it comes back, which is something that strengthens our argument.

    That’s just what I wrote in my text: “Raoul also explained that money is just the incorporation of symmetric exchange; you cannot abolish money without abolishing exchange, and vice versa. Money emerges spontaneously when it is needed, e.g. cigarettes were used as a substitute money in times of war. When markets are forbidden but there is no other adequate way of organizing production and distribution, black markets appear–markets in their worst form. So money can only be abandoned by getting rid of its root cause: exchange.”

    So your task, if we really want to change something, is to get rid of exchange, to make exchange superfluous. If production is common–resources and means of production are commons, and tasks and outputs are shared according to some community-defined rules–than exchange become superfluous (that’s just what I describe in my book).

    Since it cannot be abolished artificially, then the alternative to regulate it differently becomes a rational option, and this is the only thing we are proposing. So the choice comes down to this: do you prefer a money which is regulated in the interests of a tiny class of financial predators and destroys the productive economy, or is it better to regulate it in the interest of the majority of the population?

    That assumes that “money” is just a name which you can fill with any content you like. My understanding (and also Raoul’s, I assume) is that money has its own logic which you cannot just suppress since it, like money itself, will inevitably come back as long as it is needed. So you cannot artificially suppress interest (etc.), just as you cannot artificially suppress money.

  10. Christian Siefkes Says:

    @Kevin:

    Second, the portion of your article that actually does consist of supporting argument involves mainly an argument (that of “winners” and “losers” in market competition leading to a propertyless proletariat selling its labor on disadvantageous terms) that I attempted to answer in the past on the P2P list–an answer which you never addressed.

    As I pointed out there, under capitalism artificial scarcity rents on land and capital, through the principle of compounding return, enable “winner” status to build on itself over time. Eliminating the role of the state in enforcing such artificial scarcities (such as entry barriers for the supply of secured credit against member property in mutual banks, enforcement of absentee title to vacant and unimproved land, etc.) will severely restrict the ability of the winners’ wealth to grow on itself over time. At the same time, the elimination of such artificial scarcities of land and capital will reduce the cost threshold for acquiring the minimum amount of capital and land needed for comfortable subsistence, so that the “losers” have a lot less distance to fall.

    My point was mainly that, whenever markets are the primary means of organizing exchange so that people cannot survive without buying and selling, the need to sell labor power (and hence capitalism) will necessarily emerge. In response, you sketch a society where people can survive without buying and selling, by reverting to a subsistence-based way of life. Clearly, my argument doesn’t apply to such a society where markets are not needed for survival.

    So, in theory such a society might be possible. In practice, I seriously doubt that subsistence could be a viable alternative in modern society. Food and shelter are not enough, there are just too many things which people need for a worthwhile life–health care, mobility, communication technology, culture, education and so on.

    For mere survival, subsistence may be sufficient (provided you stay healthy, that is). But to live a good life, we need productive interactions with other people, either through markets or through a better mode (such as commons-based peer production).

  11. Poor Richard Says:

    “It is unequal exchange that is at the root of all of the evils of capitalism.”

    I was feeling in agreement, wanting only to add “or any other economic system.”

    And then from Christian: “That’s very wrong, see my article: Marx’ Theory of Value and Why Exchange Can Be “Equal” and Still Bad.”

    The linked article says “The problem with capitalism isn’t that prices are “unfair”—most prices aren’t. There are other problems. First, production only takes place if there is profit.”

    So whats the diff between unequal exchange and exchange for profit?

    It is almost impossible for me to feel I have correctly parsed the premises and logic in all this high-concept, jargon-ladden economic theory.

    Just my 2 cents.

  12. Poor Richard Says:

    I agree with Sepp and Michel’s comments.

    Kevin wrote “It is unequal exchange that is at the root of all of the evils of capitalism.”

    But Christian writes: “That’s very wrong, see my article:
    Marx’ Theory of Value and Why Exchange Can Be “Equal” and Still Bad.”

    Christian’s article says: “The problem with capitalism isn’t that prices are “unfair”—most prices aren’t. There are other problems. First, production only takes place if there is profit.”

    What’s the diff between unequal exchange and exchange for profit?

    I find it very difficult to parse all the high-concept economic jargon, but I think I agree mostly with Kevin that “It is unequal exchange that is at the root of all of the evils of capitalism,” only I would
    add “or any other economic system.”

    I think we must hold a laser-like focus on the problem of externalities, which IMO are the dead give-away of any rip-off or con game.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>