LvM L&Sa - I.1.Ownership (2)

Sunday, 10 November, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

But further owners of the means of production are unable in these conditions to place their physical having directly into the service of production. Since all production consists in combining the various means of production, some of the owners of such means must convey their natural ownership to others, so that the latter may put into operation the combinations of which production consists. Owners of capital, land, and labour place these factors at the disposal of the entrepreneur, who takes over the immediate direction of production. The entrepreneurs, again, conduct production according to the direction set by the consumers, who are no other than the owners of the means of production: owners of capital, land, and labour. Of the product, however, each factor receives the share to which he is economically entitled, according to the value of his productive contribution in the yield.

This is a very naive view of the entire process. One problem with it is the supposition that the entrepreneur is a sort of manager, and the result of the entrepreneur's efforts are a recombination of capital, land and labour. This is factually untrue, and even the attempts of introducing a fourth "intellectual" element, be it called information or whatever other derivative into the mix does not properly account for the situation.

A much better illustration of what's going on with entrepreneurs (as distinct, and for that matter quite oppositei managers) is a reference to a mostly forgotten science fiction story, wherein a means of delivering infinite energy was discovered. As the story progresses it turns out that there exists a parallel world, and in fact the source of the apparently "infinite" energy is the difference of potential between the physical laws of the respective worlds. As the new engines do their work the respective difference slowly reduces, with the practical implication that the laws of both places slowly change, to the usual effectii. Now this is what an entrepreneur does : he bends the very laws of reality. This has nothing to do with "means of production", it's in fact quite mystical an endeavour, and that's why you don't get to argue with Jobsiii.

Another problem is that in no way is the division of the fruits of labour even vaguely related to "the value of his productive contribution in the yield", and there's absolutely no "accordance" involved. What's at issue is the price of the contribution, not the value of the contribution, and what's at issue is the prior agreement. To illustrate : if you make a movie, and I rent you the equipment, my share in the results of your work won't be a matter of how useful or valuable those tools turn out to be, my share in the results of your work will be a matter of how much they cost you! Whether you end up using them or not I'll still bill you, because we had a deal, and that's what it is, and if you end up using them as the central thing in your product you still pay exactly as much as the next bloke, who perhaps never used them. So, price, not value.

More importantly, whether your film costs a million dollars and brings in a hundred million at the box office or it costs a hundred million and brings in a single million, my fifty thousand bill of materials will be paid in full by exactly fifty thousand. There's no "accordance" at work here, a cab driver doesn't get paid five million a mile when driving around bankers in the city and negative three grand a mile when driving around cokeheads. He charges five bucks a mile or whatever and that's the end of the matter. Which, incidentally, is why it's criminal to have any single banker wait as much as half a second because some cokehead fuckwit was keeping the cabs busy, which is why it's important for prices to be exactly as high as at all possible : to deny use of resources to inferior purposes.iv

In essence, therefore, natural ownership of production goods is quite different from natural ownership of consumption goods. To have production goods in the economic sense, i.e. to make them serve one's own economic purposes, it is not necessary to have them physically in the way that one must have consumption goods if one is to use them up or to use them lastingly. To drink coffee I do not need to own a coffee plantation in Brazil, an ocean steamer, and a coffee roasting plant, though all these means of production must be used to bring a cup of coffee to my table.

This is not exactly correct. For instance, to own a newly made silken top hat I would have to own my very own tophat silk making factories, as such things are no longer made. So the observation is valid for the very narrow (and possibly narrowing) span of mass produced goods intended for a mass consumer audience. Once you step outside of there, if you want a good blog to read you pretty much have to write it, and if you want good company you pretty much have to bow down and train the girls yourself, as the economics of the supply side just don't work.

In essence, therefore, ownership is ownership, without any sort of distinction, much like love is love, one and the same thing uniting the lovers mingling spit and seminal fluids, the mother and her infant, the boy and his father, or his dog. There's just one of everything, because zero-one-infinity controls and because the human brain is made by the same principles of economy as all life on earth. And since we're on it, goods as subject of ownership are goods, irrespective any classification attempts.

In the society which divides labour no one is exclusive owner of the means of production, either of the material things or of the personal element, capacity to work.

I have personally bought means of production, let the men go and sold the thing for scrap at a profit. What is he talking about !?

I have personally denied the economical use of my intelligence and ability in a number of fields to this day, and continue to quite actively do so. Because much like the factory is the exclusive property of its owner, who may very well close it down, fire all the workers and cut the machinery up, the capacity to work is the exclusive property of the worker. This naive notion that creators are naturally creative and so therefore will create whether they're offered a good enough deal or not is nonsense of the first degree.

In fact, the Soviet Union was pretty much sunk by the widespread process of "going Galt", which is what happens when the talented, those people who alone matter in the world aren't being offered enough for their talents and so decide to ignore the matter for a while. And the Soviet Union wasn't the only one, all socialist states end up dead the same way : they tamper with the incentives of labour, making it less sucky to suck, making it less cool to be cool. If anyone, no matter how far behind, still scores over 90%, and anyone, no matter how far ahead, still scores under 110% then the five people that together account for two thirds of everything nice and good in the world simply stay in bed, and that's the end of the world.

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  1. I'd know, seeing how I'm both, and there's no turmoil in my life like the turmoil that results from the disagreements of the entrepreneur in me with the manager in me. []
  2. Think "global warming" or w/e, as what passes for "science" in the pseudoscientific politico fields these days is exactly what you'd expect of children coming of age who had their scientific education in the pulp trade section of the bookshop. []
  3. Or Ford, or Iacocca or so on and so forth - the list of history's great entrepreneurs far exceeds the combined list of even marginally noteworthy scientists, philosophers, politicians, jurists and whores. []
  4. Every single time some douche that can't afford a resource gets to use it we've had some other much more important guy not use it and this is the worst that can possibly happen. In a town managed by the nazi (which is to say, one of the many types of socialists) there'd be serious fines (and perhaps roadside anal fingering) for social undersirables using cabs at rush hour. In a town managed by capitalist principles the prices just get high enough so the social undersirables don't get to use the resource. This should explain why the recent US move to socialism is so intimately related to a protestation of high prices, and an effort to make things affordable and accessible : they just want a good excuse for the roadside anal probing. []
Category: Cuvinte Sfiinte
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