[OPE-L:6933] Re: value-form and slavery

From: Paul (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Sun Apr 07 2002 - 17:00:10 EDT

Asfilho@aol.com wrote:

> I like a lot of the things that Rakesh says in [6902], with respect to
> slavery and value-form. Perhaps one way to link the two strands of the debate
> is through the following question:
> --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?

Yes it is abstract. For labour to be abstract it has to be potentially
in multiple different concrete forms - harvesting, planting, hoeing, smithing
etc. Slave labour both in classical antiquity and in ante-bellum usa had
these characteristics. The abstract labour was at the direction of the
slave owner who determined what concretely the slave had to do.

> This question was raised by Duncan in [3270], a long time ago - but he raised
> it as a *question*, and no clear answer was provided by the debate on the
> list.
> alfredo.

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