[OPE-L:6911] Re: value-form and slavery

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 05 2002 - 12:06:50 EST

Alfredo asks in 6903:

>--Is slave labour *abstract labour*? If so, under what circumstances (i.e.,
>more generally, what makes labour *abstract*); if not, how is this compatible
>with the obvious fact that slaves in the New World produced commodities for
>the world market?

Slave labor was abstract labor because it produced commodities for 
money such that capital was valorized and in turn debt obligations 
could be met, other commodities acquired and money hoards formed.

If one focuses on the realm of circulation and the form of 
exploitation, one can miss the relation of production--in this case 
the capital positing nature of much slave and otherwise formally 
unfree labor.

As Alfredo underlines, i am most certainly not arguing that all 
slaves and all formally unfree workers produce value and capital.


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