Re: [OPE-L] domestic labor

From: clyder@GN.APC.ORG
Date: Sun Jan 13 2008 - 14:01:05 EST

> Since we (Phil and Dave) both agree that
>     "Domestic service as unproductive labour is uncontested"
> Then it makes no difference whether capitalists employ servants directly
> or buy their services from some capitalist firms.
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Hi Dave Z:
> I contest that claim.  There is nothing inherently unproductive
> about domestic service.  If domestic servants are wage-workers
> employed by a capitalist firm why is the activity unproductive?

if firm supplying childcare supplies it to working class families it is in
dept II and productive
if it supplies the bourgeoisie it is in dept III and unproductive.

In former case it can contribute to the sum of social relative surplus
value. In the latter case
no contribution to the production of relative surplus value.

The production of relative surplus value is the key to the whole
definition. Productive
labour is that labour which is directly or undirectly necessary to support
the direct producers.

Paul Cockshott

> Note that a significant amount of the customers of many domestic service
> capitalist firms are members of the working class. Indeed, changes in the
> gender composition of the waged-labour force have resulted in an marked
> increase in the amount of working-class families employing (especially,
> part-time) domestic servants.  Child-care firms also cater significantly
> to working-class consumers.  And, changes in life expectancy have resulted
> in the working-class elderly often (at least in the US) requiring home
> health care workers - a form of domestic labour.
> And even if the customers weren't members of the working class why would
> the activity itself be unproductive?  If opera singers can be productive
> of surplus value if they are employed by capitalist firms why can't waged
> domestic servants employed by other capitalist firms also be productive of
> s?
> In solidarity, Jerry

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