Re: [OPE-L] "Levels of abstraction"

From: Jerry Levy (jerry_levy@VERIZON.NET)
Date: Sun Feb 03 2008 - 07:18:51 EST

>> The existence and reproduction under capitalism of Departments
>> I and II depends on the reproduction of the capital-wage labour
>> relation - a relation that requires the individual consumption
>> of some commodities by capitalists.
> No this is not true.
> Capitalist firms can be managed by staff working for a salary,
> the capitalist can be an abstract legal personality - the Welcome
> Trust for example, which need not engage in individual
> consumption.

Hi Paul C:

If there is a capitalist class then its reproduction as a class requires commodities for the individual consumption of that class.
If there is no capitalist class, then there is no capitalism.

>>  You have to ask yourself Gerry, just what you think the
>> purpose of the distinction between productive and unproductive
>> labour was for Smith and Marx.
>> Why do they talk about it at all?
>> Why do they use the word 'productive'?

For Smith, it was tied to his answer for how the wealth of the nation could be increased.  For Marx, it concerned the specific form that exploitation takes under capitalism. These purposes are related, but not the same.

In solidarity, Jerry

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