[OPE-L:2666] Re: Re: slaves and value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Sat Apr 01 2000 - 12:56:47 EST

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Jerry, I am not ignoring circulation. The commodity output of slaves was
what laid the basis for the world market as Marx notes somewhere in his
Anti Proudhon. And the commodities that enter the slaves' reproduction also
were often purchased off the market--to say nothing of the stimulus the
luxury consumption of the slavers provided to the formation of the world
market. I am arguing that the nature of the relation between capital and
living labor cannot be determined in the market. According to Marx, nothing
stimulated the development of worldwide commodity circulation more than

 It is only by
>ignoring this distinction that one is able to make the claim that
>generalized slave labor is compatible with capitalism (Alfredo's position,
>it appears).

That's cleary not my claim. I haven't located Alfredo's yet. Don't confuse us.

>What *kind* of labor? It's as if you are suggesting that the *form* that
>labor takes makes not a difference to our understanding of value.

Jerry, I am not going to look it up, but in Capital I, Marx argues that
because on the modern plantation, as opposed to ancient slavery, the output
took the commodity form--that is, it was not meant for the direct
consumption of the ruling class--there were no bounds to the surplus labor
that plantation masters tried to extract, resulting in the exhausation and
death of slaves. Yes commodity form matters a great deal--it is in fact a
matter of life and death.

>What connection your understanding has to Marx is unclear, although it
>seems to have been widely believed in by the "diamat" school.

Ha, ha. This is what Banaji charges those who are defending your position
with. I am glad we are having such a jolly good time.

Yours, Rakesh

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