[OPE-L:5823] Re: Re: Re: form and content re value-form and abstract labour

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Thu Jun 07 2001 - 10:32:19 EDT

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your post.  A few brief response below.

On Wed, 6 Jun 2001, Andrew Brown wrote:

> Hi Fred,
> But abstract labour only becomes a (quasi) 'distinct entity' in 
> capitalism, and then it is a mighty peculiar 'entity' at that. 

I certainly agree with that.

> Following 
> Murray, (congealed) abstract labour does not behove to a logic of 
> 'being', a logic of *things* as we ordinarily know them, rather it 
> behoves to a logic of essence. Essence is non-sensuous. 

But Essence exists, doesn't it, even though non-sensuous?

> Hence, 
> essence must necessarily appear as something other than itself. In 
> fact it must appear as something directly opposite to itself. It must 
> appear as a *sensuous* thing! So, money and congealed abstract 
> labour are direct opposites. But it doesn't make alot of sense to 
> say they are distinct entities, since the latter (congealed abstract 
> labour) gains existence only through the former (money). Money is 
> the 'realisation' or the 'actualisation' of congealed abstract labour. 
> They are *immediately* opposite but *mediately* identical.

I would say abstract labor becomes observable through money, rather that
"gains existence" through money.  

> This is partly the reason for my phrase, 'quasi-separate' existence 
> of abstract labour, which I think more accurate than your own 
> exposition. 

"'Quasi-separate' existence" might be a better way of saying "exists, but
necessarily connected."

> But the important point upon which we are in full 
> agreement, I hope, is that abstract labour time tethers price 
> magnitude; the immediate opposition opens up this crucial 
> distinction between the two magnitudes, the mediate identity 
> confirms their connection.

This requires that specific quantities of abstract labor exist in some way
independently of prices, does it not?

> I do hope this makes at least a modicum of sense!

I think it makes a lot of sense.


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