[OPE-L:3564] Slavery and capital and unproductive labour

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Jul 05 2000 - 11:12:15 EDT

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>In the slave system, the money-capital invested in the purchase
>of labour-power plays the role of the money-form of the fixed capital,
>which is but gradually replaced as the active period of the slave's
>life expires. Among the Athenians therefore, the gain realised by a slave
>owner directly through the industrial employment of his slave, or
>indirectly by hiring him out to other industrial employers (e.g., for
>mining), was regarded merely as interest (plus depreciation allowance)
>on the advanced money-capital, just as the industrial capitalist
>under capitalist production places a portion of the surplus-value plus
>the depreciation of his fixed capital to the account of interest and
>replacement of his fixed capital. This is also the rule with capitalists
>offering fixed capital (houses, machinery, etc.) for rent. Mere
>household slaves, whether they perform necessary services or are kept as
>luxuries for show, are not considered here. They correspond to
>the modern servant class. Vol II chap 20 part 12

This seems relevant to the debate we had some time ago on value
creation under slavery. Marx is here saying that capital exists
under slavery, and that the same distinction between productive
and unproductive labour as exists under capitalism existed under slavery.

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