[OPE-L:2630] RE: Re: Re: slaves and value

From: Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.ac.kr)
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 00:24:40 EST

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Chris argues:

The real point is not the lack of freedom for the slave but the lack of
freedom for the slave-owner. The capitalist has one crucial advantage. He
can dismiss the worker; this together with refined wage/fine systems allows
him to manipulate the workers so as to engage their interests with his own
e.g. avioding waste. marx quotes an observer to the effect that he was
astonished at the fact the slaves were allowed to abuse implements and
animals in a way that would have led to instant dismissal on a capitalist
farm. The implements had to be especially stong, heavy and inefficient, to
prevent the slaves breaking them.
In effect the slaves were little better than oxen.
I agree with Lee this puts a question mark ove whether we can talk of
abstract labour here even where production is of commodities.
Chris A

Capitalists can dismiss workers, yet the slave-owners too can dismiss the slaves if they are put on the slave market. They are Fixed Capital. In treating the fixed capital, they would have less freedom than treating fluid capital.



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