RE: [OPE] How to read Capital

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Thu Apr 03 2008 - 07:53:41 EDT

Your quote from marx certainly does not back you up. You said that the production
of commodities presupposes the separation of the producer from the means of production.
Nothing about that in the quote.

What about the handloom weaving industry before the invention of powered spinning and

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of
Sent: Thu 4/3/2008 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE] How to read Capital

The production of commodity requires already division of labour, i.e. the 
separation of labour from the means of production. 

Not at all. Surely as a Smith scholar you can see that Smith recognised the 
division of labour but did
not consider that this entailed the separation of labour from the means of 
production -- indeed
practical experience of the 18th century economy would have made that idea seem 

To all the different varieties of values in use there correspond as
many different kinds of useful labour, classified according to the
order, genus, species, and variety to which they belong in the social
division of labour. This division of labour is a necessary condition
for the production of commodities, but it does not follow, conversely,
that the production of commodities is a necessary condition for the
division of labour. In the primitive Indian community there is social
division of labour, without production of commodities. Or, to take an
example nearer home, in every factory the labour is divided according
to a system, but this division is not brought about by the operatives
mutually exchanging their individual products. Only such products can
become commodities with regard to each other, as result from different
kinds of labour, each kind being carried on independently and for the
account of private individuals. (vol1, ch. 1, sec. 2)




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