[OPE-L:7470] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: definitely not aboutCh. 5

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Thu Jul 25 2002 - 16:34:53 EDT

I was wondering whether or not we have entered a new subsumption phase.
Following Gilīs scheme we had: no subsumption; formal subsumption; real
subsumption. Real subsumption, however, is unable to mobilize workersī
spirits in favor of capitalīs expansion of value. There have sprung,
nowadays, new ways of harnessing workersī will in accordance to capitalīs
purpose: a variety of fancy names whose sole purpose is to improve the
conditions under which labor power can be more advantageously transformed
into labor (to use R. Edwards formulation in Contested Terrain). Could we
be entering a phase of Subjective Subsumption of labor, the subsumption
of laborersī spirit, an acomplishment capital had not achieved either
under formal nor under real subsumption?

Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Gil,
> first a substantive issue. Albritton seems to argue that the law of
> value only regulates capitalist production when labor power has been
> fully commodified for the following reason:
> for  production to be subordinated to the maximal valorization of
> value, capitalists have to be indifferent to use value, and such
> indifference can only rest on the foundation of the more or less full
> commodification of labor power. For example, firms can only easily
> disinvest  to the extent that labor costs are not fixed as they are
> in slavery, and firms can only freely enter extra profitable
> industries if they can easily draw from a free wage labor pool not
> tied down by extra economic coercion.
> I don't think this argument is quite successful in connecting the
> regulatory power of the law of value to the commodification of labor
> power.
> After all, slavery did not necessarily prevent capitalists from
> achieving indifference to use value. Fogel argues that American
> slavery was a highly flexible, efficient form of capitalism.
> Plantation owners were quite adept at shifting their crop mixes in
> response to price signals; slaves were rented out to mfg enterprises
> when this was most profitable; slaves were sold to other plantation
> capitalists who could exploit them more intensively.
> So far, I think Weeks has the best argument for the connection
> between the regulatory power of the law of value and the full
> commodification of labor power.  And I don't think it quite works in
> the case of modern plantation slavery in part because the means of
> subsistence can be monetized to some extent without the
> commodification of labor power.
> Now of course Albritton agrees with this to some extent. He considers
> merchant payment to craftsman in the putting out system as piece
> wages, though of course these craftsmen were not formally speaking
> free wage workers since they had nominal control of the means of
> production.
> Now to our acrimony--the question of whether you need to chill out or
> whether I am chilling speech.
> >   What's more, I think it would have a seriously chilling effect on
> >our discussions if every time A asks B for his or her opinion about
> >author C, B has stop and consider that possibility that his or her
> >comments will be forwarded to C for refutation.
> What you call a chilling effect I would call a honing effect. It did
> not even occur to me that people submit criticism to public archives
> (which are not private offlist emails) without stopping to consider
> the refutations which could be offered. If I submit a criticism to a
> publically accessible forum, I look forward to the possibility of a
> reply in my in box. Otherwise, I do not submit it public.  I also
> think that it is perfectly obvious that there is a right of rebuttal
> to criticism made in a publically accessible forum.
> If your criticism is very tentative, then submit it privately and
> offlist. In this case you could have sent your post to Michael L or
> me offlist so there need not have been a chilling effect.
> What should be chilled--that is disallowed--is the making of
> criticism of someone in a publically accessible forum without
> allowing--nay, encouraging-- that person's rebuttal. Especially if
> that person is a fellow critical theorist.
> >  Our discussions are by their nature tentative, and should not be
> >taken presumptively as serious indictments of others' work for which
> >they automatically deserve the opportunity for rebuttal.
> Now who's doing the chilling? People don't deserve the opportunity
> for rebuttal even if they have been criticized in a publically
> accessible forum?.
> >  Furthermore there's the ever-present danger that some listmembers
> >might use this as a selective threat to discourage the making of
> >arguments they dislike.
> Again I don't consider it a threat but a dialectical opportunity if
> my criticism is submitted to the person I criticized. I--nay we--may
> learn something from discussion, each changing our position.
> >
> >I take this as a very serious matter for the list and ask that it be
> >taken up by Jerry and the oversight committee.
> >
> >Gil
> OK.
> Rakesh

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