[OPE-L:5636] Re: Re: Re: Howards [5578] Peculiarities of the equivalent form

From: paul bullock (paulbullock@ebms-ltd.in2home.co.uk)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 13:21:12 EDT


Under capitalism of course the C entering production is generally the result of 'social' labour. But what exactly do you mean by that? The point is that capitalist production  is indirectly social. Chris fudges the point with his 'yes and no'. Commodities are purchased privately from private producers and used for the accumulation of  profit (which is a concept based in private ownership etc). Nevertheless none of this is possible without other private owners to buy from and sell to, ie a society of private activity where the private commodity labour power is used for  the private appropriation of wealth by capitalists.

The idea that 'the goods that are exchanged is not the product of "private labor" ' seems to me to reduce the notion of 'society' to a most abstract notion, (a sort of 'togetherness' .or we need your stuff so we must be being soocial ) .. whilst ignoring the composition and basis of that society. Are you trying to say that exchange has destroyed the category of private property? On the contrary exchange requires private property!


Paul Bullock

-----Original Message-----
From: Ajit Sinha <ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in>
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Date: 21 May 2001 07:40
Subject: [OPE-L:5632] Re: Re: Howards [5578] Peculiarities of the equivalent form

>Christopher Arthur wrote:
>> d) First let us go back and ask why there is a problem. It is that
>> capitalism is manifestly a form of social production yet production is
>> carried on in separate autonomous enterprises. The solution is  universal
>> exchange. Does this make production immediately social? Yes and No.
>> Certainly it allows goods to be distributed but only via a form of
>> *abstract* sociality in which labours are not immediately social but become
>> socially recognised only under the form of abstract labour, and that
>> indirently under the shape of the value prodduced. So just as with the
>> other peculiarities there is the problem of how this abstract sociality is
>> to be represented, and it is in the private labour that produced the
>> equivalent: 'immediate exchangeability' is itself a most peculiar social
>> form quite different from the concrete specific connections between
>> production and consumption is a peasant household.
>Chris, the most fundamental problem, which no Hegelian interpretation of value
>problematic recognizes, is that the goods that are exchanged is not the product
>of "private labor". It could be so only if labor could produce without any aid
>of the means of production or raw materials, such as picking up silver on a
>beach. But the production that Marx is dealing with is a production assisted by
>means of production--Marx was one author who repeatedly insisted that there is
>always a commodity residual left no matter how far you go back in reducing means
>of production to labor time, a point that Smith and Ricardo had a habit of
>forgetting in their explanation. The problem is simple: how do you deal with the
>means of production part of the commodity in its exchange? Cheers, ajit sinha

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