[OPE-L:6990] Re: Re: Re: Re: the cost of slaves

From: paul bullock (paulbullock@ebms-ltd.co.uk)
Date: Sun Apr 14 2002 - 17:42:07 EDT

Re: [OPE-L:6978] Re: Re: the cost of slavesHi Rakesh,

I'm trying, like you to clarify the exact relations here.  Incidentally the couple of articles you recently stuck into Opel, were fine anti imperialist pieces... glad to have seen them.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Rakesh Bhandari 
  To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu 
  Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2002 6:39 AM
  Subject: [OPE-L:6981] Re: Re: Re: the cost of slaves

  re: Paul B's 6978:

    Hi jerry,

    to you only here, where is Engels say 'surplus value' was transhistorical...?  value yes.... but where sv?



    p.s .   Neither you ( by sticking to imprisoned labour issue) nor rakesh...who I think goes all over the place on this matter, with a mix of strange

  the examples of my strange ideas being? as for being all over the place, of course my ideas are all over the place. We are dealing with a 400 hundred year old institution which was spread out of all over the place in time and place. It's a very complex history.

     and then perfectly acceptable ideas.....  commented on my question/ statement that ( I restate)... Cotton was produced as a commodity, its price regulated by the world market, it had a price, so a value, it became a 'cost of production'  within advanced capitalist society, surplus labour was certainly performed by the slaves.... but why do we need to go further and say 'surplus value was produced?

  because the product which slaves were forced to produce had to take the commodity form and be sold (tendentially) at prices of production (a transformed value) if the modern plantation slave enterprise was to remain a going and growing concern.

  I say they produced surplus value because all the compulsions of surplus value production were there:

  * the general product of labor had to take the commodity form, the form of a value, not a good for immediate consumption; 

  **that since the means of production and much of subsistence goods and the slaves were monetized, the only reason for having made such capital investments would have have been that there was a reasonable prospect of selling commodities at their prices of production; in fact such investments would not have been made had there not been such a prospect. 

  ***that  production found no limits in the closed circle of the needs of the ruling class or the direct producers but was as Marx himself clearly says organized around the boundless thirst for surplus value.

     Since as you say a wage was not paid, but only bare subsistence offered in the form of products or access to petty cultivation...value, a cash outlay directly to the labourer, was not reproduced, nor thus surplus value created.

  I don't think you are implying this, but... Why does a cash outlay have to be made directly to the producer for surplus value to be produced?

    The other social forms were definitely attendant because as we both agree US slavery was a creature of capitalism...... but this is where I am trying to see how the historical development of, limits to etc of the full set of social relations expressed in mature capitalism comes about, forcing out anachronistic forms as in this case.

    Does this approach manage to satisfy you? Clearly I can't have anything to do with the wild list of ideas in your list below!


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