Re: [OPE-L] Why aren't non-labourers sources of value?

From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Apr 21 2005 - 13:32:04 EDT

Hi Rakesh,
So the nub of the issue seems to be what we take capital (and therefore capitalism) to be. For me, the whole problem of surplus value, hence of capital, lies precisely in explaining it on the basis of free exchange. Unpaid labour, in *this* context (the sale of labour-power), is the solution. 
Many thanks,

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: OPE-L on behalf of Rakesh Bhandari 
	Sent: Thu 21/04/2005 18:06 
	Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Why aren't non-labourers sources of value?

	At 2:49 PM +0100 4/20/05, Andrew Brown wrote:
	>Hi Rakesh,
	>Maybe we have in mind rather different things. I have in mind developed
	>capitalism -- where there is, for example, real subsumption of the
	>labour process -- rather than the processes involved in capital coming
	>to dominate production, i.e. coming to be developed (processes that of
	>course continue to this day, as capital continues to expand and develop
	>across the globe). These processes of development may be those foremost
	>in your mind? These processes of development are very revealing about
	>developed capitalism, e.g. the history of the enclosures is one of
	>direct coercion and ongoing resistance.
	>I would argue that (developed) capitalism is to be initially
	>characterised by the prevalence and dominance of capital, M-C-M' with
	>M'>M. The increment M'-M = dM here occurs through, inter alia, free
	is it free? is it even an exchange? I think not.
	>Buying a slave is not a free exchange so cannot explain dM.
	The inference here does not seem valid.
	>slavery were predominant then it would be slave owners, not capital,
	>that would drive production.
	slave owners can be capitalists, producing commodities from the
	start.  Marx certainly did not deny this
	>  Buying labour power explains dM.
	surplus value is the appropriation of unpaid labor time. It appears
	in capitalist slavery that labor power is not at all paid for for
	while in formally free wage labor it appears that labor is fully paid
	>  With this
	>comes the whole ideology of freedom for all, characteristic of
	>capitalism, based on the double freedom of labour.
	>Re. 'sharp distinction': this concerns the status of the labourer and of
	>labour in slavery and capitalism - the different forms taken by
	>exploitation in different modes of production. It does not concern the
	>comparison of slave labour and free labour within one single mode of
	>production (e.g. capitalist). In both modes, of course, both slave and
	>free labourer generally get a hiding at the point of production.
	>Re. 'fluidity and creativity of labour': within slave-based society
	>there are a fixed range of tasks to be done by 'talking animals' and
	>animals, with land, tools etc. To the extent that slave owners get their
	>way, fluidity or creativity of labour does not extend beyond these
	>I continue to be embarrassed about my lack of historical knowledge on
	>this stuff...
	>Many thanks,

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