RE: [OPE] Fwd: How to read Capital

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Fri Apr 04 2008 - 18:04:37 EDT

The point is that commodity production came thousands of years before capitalism.
Aristotle could write about it and point out the contradiction between use and exchange value.
This contradiction could not itself thus be the genesis of capitalism or capitalism would
have existed in ancient Greece.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of
Sent: Fri 4/4/2008 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE] Fwd: How to read Capital

 All that I said was that all contradictions in capitalist society can be deduced from the contradiction between use-value and exchange-value.
My reference to the separation of labourers from their means of production was referring to the genesis of capitalism. It is the precondition of production of goods as commodity. Here I am entirely in line with Smith and Marx.

You opposed to that but up tu now I could not see any argument. That is all I can say. I have to stop here.




-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung----- 
Von: Paul Cockshott <>
An: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Verschickt: Fr., 4. Apr. 2008, 13:17
Thema: RE: [OPE] Fwd: How to read Capital

"My view is that the social division of labour involves a situation where 
different people work for substantial periods on different tasks and become 
skilled in these: weavers, potters, carpenters etc as such it predates the 
separation of labour from the means of production."

        This is usually described as technical division of labour rather than 
        social division labour.
Paul in reply
           In that case what is your social division of labour? The separation
           of the producers from the means of production is not a division
           of labour. The division of society into wage labourers and
           capitalists is not a social division of labour, since the point being
           a capitalist is not to labour yourself but get others to do it for 
"A social division of labour can exist under multiple different relations
of prodution, some of which are commodity producing ones and some not."
        Fine, but we are talking about modern form of social division of labour.
Paul in reply
            Since when? We were originally talking about your dialectical 
            of capitalist social relations from the usevalue exchange value 
            You went from that to say that commodity production implied the 
            division of labour and thus the separation of the producers from the
            means of production.

            When I say that this was not necessarily the case historically, you 
            say that you are talking about modern capitalist social division of 
            But this modern capitalist social division of labour was what you 
            initially trying to infer from the commodity. This is what I mean by 
            of hand in dialectical argument, a conclusion is drawn that is not 
            by the stated premises, but can only be supported by unstated 



ope mailing list


Bei AOL gibt's jetzt kostenlos eMail für alle.  Klicken Sie auf um heraus zu finden, was es sonst noch kostenlos bei AOL gibt.

ope mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Apr 30 2008 - 00:00:18 EDT