Re: [OPE-L] Complex ... and the French edition of capital

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Tue Jun 12 2007 - 17:03:20 EDT

>  The concept of socially necessary labor-time is therefore
>specific to commodity societies.  But if you think of abstract labor simply
>as the expenditure of human muscles, mind, etc., it is a "physiological
>truth" that every labor process everywhere is the expenditure of abstract
>Paul C
>I would prefer to express it slightly differently: it is only in
>commodity producing societies that socially necessary labour time
>takes the *form* of money or exchange value.
>The technology available to a society will always define how much
>labour is necessary to perform a task - we can not get away from that,
>but we can reckon it directly rather than in the form of money.

Yet if a completed productive task represents to and rewards the
laborer only that portion of abstract labor time which society on
average or normally needs to complete it--that is early communism
maintains the bourgeois logic of value-- then it will have abstracted
away and remain alienated from the real laboring activity of
individuals who are irreducibly qualitatively different in ability
and need. But isn't this exactly what Marx is criticizing in the name
of an emancipatory communist ethic in the Critique of the Gotha
Program--from each according to his abilities to each according to
his needs? It seems that Marx is criticizing the abstract and
alienated nature of value from the point of real laboring subjects.
For this reason, Marx seems to want to do away with not only the form
of value but its logic as well.


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