[OPE-L:2642] Re: slave labour

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 - 05:58:54 EST

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Alfredo concluded [OPE-L:2641] with:

> There is, however, no reason in principle why capitalism
> should be seen as being incompatible with generalised slave labour.

If there is *generalized* slave labour, then the slave mode of production
dominates. Capitalism, because it most fundamentally represents a class
relation between wage-labour and capital, is indeed inconsistent with
*generalized* slave labour although it is entirely possible for a given
capitalist social formation to rely to some degree on slave labour.

If capitalism is defined *only* as a system in which there is production
of goods with the intention of sale, then a system with generalized slave
labour could indeed be deemed capitalist. "Commodity" production, however,
does not by itself define the set of relationships specific to capitalism
as a distinct historically-constituted mode of production.

In solidarity, Jerry

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