[OPE-L:5661] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Reduction

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Thu May 24 2001 - 00:51:06 EDT

Allin Cottrell wrote:

> On Wed, 23 May 2001, Rakesh Narpat Bhandari wrote:
> > >If you believe that commodities can be resolved into labour and
> > >labour alone, then you believe in magic.
> >
> > But Steve no one is saying that; of course there will remain some
> > natural residue which is not objectified labor. Marx never said
> > otherwise. In fact in both Capital 1 and the the Critique of the
> > Gotha Programme he emphasized that wealth is the product of both
> > labor and nature...as you surely know
> Agreed.  The non-labour residue is composed of the materials supplied
> gratis by nature, which are crucial to a commodity's use-value but
> have no bearing on its value.
> Allin.


Allin, the point here is not about "materials supplied gratis by nature".
That is always a part of production process. The commodity residue is
about the residue that will always remain of the *produced means of
production*. It ultimately strikes at the *originary* method of
reasoning, that is, the essence of something could be understood by
reducing it to its origin. The commodity residue argument is showing that
this is simply not true. If you want to understand *capitalist
production* or the nature of production in capitalism, you simply cannot
go back to the imaginary origin of production with the imaginary first
man/woman who had to produce something without any aid of produced means
of production. Once you begin with capitalist production, where the class
of capitalist exists only on the basis of control over the produced means
of production, then there is no logical way of reducing this state of
affair to the imaginary state of affair where no produced means of
production existed. I think this is a serious methodological issue, which
the Hegelian Marxists are dealing with by simply closing their eyes to.
Cheers, ajit sinha

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