[OPE-L:2653] Re: RE: slave labour

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 08:12:05 EST

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>If then, automated robot machine could also produce a value. Why not?
>If the slaves are part of a generalised system of production, the slave
>owners might prefer the wage labor system because if the slaves die of a
>disease, a loss occurs to the capitalist. But capitalists can always
>replace deteriorated laborers with little cost. Wage laborers will not
>resist in the generalised slavery system.
>Better efficient slaves produce extra profit (not extra surplus value)
>because the fixed capital is not a variable capital.

Chai-on, this freedom for capitalists to hire and fire depends on the full
development of a market in free wage labor. But this is a historical result
of enclosures and expropriations--primitive accumulation. Only after this
process has run its course does one hear the fear in the voice of Malthus
that accumulation is too weak to sop up the proletariat. Until then the
fear was of a shortage of exploitable workers, that population bias being
reflected in mercantalist thought. Planation slavery itself is not
primitive accumulation: it is an early stage of accumulation.

You also seem in yet another anachronism to equate robots with slaves
because they both represent fixed capital in the businessman's accounting.
But this is to accept his view of the world for the truth of the matter. By
this standard, there is no variable capital at all. There is only
circulating and fixed capital.

Yours, Rakesh

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