Re: value, labour and conservation laws

From: Ian Wright (ian_paul_wright@HOTMAIL.COM)
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 15:58:21 EDT

Hello Paul,

>But would add that a key factor of human labour is its
>flexibility we are 'RUR', we are the universal robot,
>the universal worker. What gives abstract labour
>a reality is this human adapability. This is why the
>labour of horses or cattle, useful though they have
>been to farmers and teamsters, can not be treated
>as abstract except in the abstract sense of horse-power.

You are right to add something because I did not state
what "common properties" of human concrete labour allow
it to be represented as abstract labour. My thoughts are
not fully formed on this point. Although humans do
approximate universal machines, at least in terms of
their competence, if not performance, I do not think your
answer is the right one, primarily because this property
is "technical", rather than social-relational. However, it is
true that horses, machines, natural mechanisms etc.
are not as adaptable as us, and this partly explains why
we do not treat them as equal property owners within
our social relations of production.


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