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

From: Jerry Levy (jerry_levy@VERIZON.NET)
Date: Mon Feb 04 2008 - 10:40:39 EST

> I disagree with you about whether capitalism requires the
> existence of a personal class of capitalists. I think the inate
> tendency of the mode of production is towards the
> depersonalisation of capital, and that this reaches its extreme
> form in state capitalism.

Hi Paul C:

It might equally be said that the "depersonalization of the working class" is an inate tendency of capitalism, but that in no way eliminates the existence of the working class!

> On the function of the idea of unproductive/productive labour
> distinction. I agree with you on Smith, but with regard to Marx
> you do not give a purpose to the distinction, you say it
> concerned the specific form in which exploitation took place, but
> I feel that
> a. In saying this you are not giving a purpose

By explaining the specific forms that exploitation takes under capitalism, he is able to explain more clearly the relations of production associated with capitalism and the dialectic (and, hence, developmental tendencies) associated with the commodity, money, and capital forms. This is purpose enough.

> b. You are failing to take into account his arguments about faux-> frais etc. These only make sense
> if the distinction has some component other than just the form
> of exploitation.

I don't follow the above. How do you think the incidental expenses associate with production relate to this discussion?  I agree that there _is_ a relation to the extent that faux frais are _not_ V and _not_ C, yet are a _cost_ to firms. So, that gets us back to Jurriaan's question: do you think that FF should be seen as unproductive labour and a deduction from s?  But, not all FF are expenditures for labour: e.g. monies paid by firms as bribes to organized crime and the state.  These could be paid out of s but that doesn't mean that they represent U.

In solidarity, Jerry

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