[OPE-L:6845] Re: Re: surplus value, commercial workers and merchant capital (fwd)

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Sat Mar 30 2002 - 16:04:51 EST

Jerry writes in 6843:

>  whether a part of the surplus product takes the form of surplus 
>value depends on whether that part of the surplus product takes the 
>commodity-form and the specific class relationship under which that 
>portion of the surplus product was produced.

This is vague.

What is the specific class relationship in production that ensures 
the production of surplus value?

That in order to ensure the valorization of capital (M-C-M+) labor is 
forced to transfer *gratis* the value of the means of production to 
the commodity output to which they must as well add new value over 
and above their own costs of reproduction?

Of course in the case of slaves there was ever greater pressure for 
super exploitation as they were forced to cover enormous faux fraix 
of modern plantation slavery, e.g., the costs of their own capture 
and delivery.

One can add here that modern plantation slaves were forced to produce 
enough surplus value to enable the extensive accumulation of capital 
in the form of the geographical expansion of the slave system.

The characteristically bourgeois boundless appetite for surplus 
value--see Sombart's interesting discussion of the ethos of the 
modern businessman in the Quintessence of Capitalism--has haunted and 
destroyed the lives of modern slaves, indentured workers and other 
formally unfree proletarians.

  The modern slave plantation was not caught in the closed circle of 
simple reproduction.

Of course capital as a whole cannot satisfy its boundless hunger for 
surplus value if labor power is not in general a commodity; but in 
certain conditions-- e.g., the early stages of capital accumulation, 
the capitalist production of raw materials, capitalist industries 
which must make great use of foreign labor--
the boundless pursuit of surplus value may indeed not only not be 
incompatible with formally unfree labor relations, it may come to 
depend on them.


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