[OPE-L:6420] Re: Re: The significance of labor power commodification

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU)
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 13:14:06 EST

In 6402, in response to Rakesh's suggestion that I haven't been able to
establish the *significance* of my Chapter 5 (etc) critique, I wrote

Really? I would have thought our disagreement was over the details of my 
argument, not its significance. Let me check this by asking you a 
question, Rakesh:

Is the commodification of labor power *essential* or *incidental* to the 
process of transforming money into capital, according to Marx's account in 
Volume I of Capital?

to which Rakesh responds in 6406:

>It is indeed essential in Marx's account (though not in reality) 
>because in his "account", i.e., his theory of a pure advanced 
>capitalism,   Marx rules out by assumption the putting out system or 
>some variant thereof (you give examples of usury and merchant 
>capital,right?); he assumes that workers have been expropriated and 
>that we are on free wage labor island and then concludes that despite 
>appearances free wage workers cannot be alienating their labor time 
>in exchange with Mr Moneybags if money is being transformed into 
>capital.  [Etc]

Whoa, Rakesh, you've jumped immediately into the *details* of the argument,
confirming my suggestion that our disagreement is over these details, not
as you've contended, the *significance* of my argument.  So, before getting
back into details, you indicate that the commodification of labor power is
*essential* to the process of transforming money into capital, *according
to Marx's account.*  Would you then agree that a refutation of Marx's
explicitly stated basis for asserting this essential relationship is
*significant*, if valid?


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