[OPE-L] Fred's argument about the deduction (retro)

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Jan 17 2008 - 14:01:07 EST

I don't think Marx is abstracting from U in Cap. Vol. 1 at all, because he specifically mentions it (he had already drafted Cap. Vol. 2 and 3 previously). 

He writes specifically in what he published:

"...the notion of a productive labourer implies not merely a relation between work and useful effect, between labourer and product of labour, but also a specific, social relation of production, a relation that has sprung up historically and stamps the labourer as the direct means of creating surplus-value."

Evidently therefore he regarded the definition of PUPL as being determined BOTH by the nature of the output, AND by the social relations (if you like, the relevant property rights) within which it was created. Not just anything could be commodified, it depended contingently on technological, economic and social conditions. In this sense, both the use-value and the exchange-value of the labour remained important to the definition of PUPL.

As a general norm, he argues that: 
"If we have a function which, although in and for itself unproductive, is nevertheless a necessary moment of [economic] reproduction, then when this is transformed, through a division of labour, from the secondary activity of many into the exclusive activity of a few, into their special business, this does not change the character of the function itself" (Capital Vol. 2, Penguin ed., p. 209).

The point however is that changes in the division of labour might render labour PL, even although it was previously U,  or vice versa.

I object to people who argue that 2+2=2  "at a diferent level of abstraction". Because I think 2+2=4.  Seems to me that people who argue for "levels of abstraction" need to be able to specify the limits to which the abstraction applies, and how one level of abstraction relates to another. If they cannot do so, their case is arbitrary, not logical. 


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