RE: [OPE] Reply to Geert Reuten

Date: Mon Mar 09 2009 - 08:38:59 EDT

> "This abstraction, human labour in general, exists in the form of average

> labour which, IN A GIVEN SOCIETY, the average person can perform,

> productive expenditure of a certain amount of human muscles, nerves,

> brain, etc. It is simple labour [English economists call it "unskilled labour"]

> which any average individual can be trained to do and which in one way

> or another he has to perform. The characteristics of this average labour

> are different in different countries and different historical epochs, but IN

> ANY PARTICULAR SOCIETY it appears as something given." (my stress).



_If_ an author makes it clear from the outset of her/his presentation (page 1)

that her/his subject is capitalism _then_ 'a given society' and 'any particular

society' should be understood to refer to a given or particular _capitalist_ society.

_If_ one has limited one's analysis in this way, _then_ such an additional qualifier

would be unnecessary, redundant, and tiresome for the reader.


So it is with other disciplines. If one wrote a book on 'sailing theory and practice'

(C.A. Marchaj) then the author does not have to use, and should not use, expressions

like 'sailing yacht' or 'sailboat'. Note in this case that, historically and logically,

the development of sailing vessels is an outcome of a prior historical process which

included propulsion by oar, paddle, and sweep and that most larger 'sailing' vessels

have auxiliary motors. But, a discussion of rowing and motoring would have been

digressive to the subject - even though historically and otherwise these topics can be

related to each other. Such digressions are best put in the form of footnotes or

appendixes (_Value-form and the State_ use a very interesting, readable, and consistent

style for the former, imo).


In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Mon Mar 9 08:41:10 2009

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