[OPE-L:82] Re: More Paradox of Book I, Ch 25 (more digression)

Paul Cockshott (wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org)
Wed, 20 Sep 1995 15:25:53 -0700

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I think one of the points that Mike makes in OPE Concerning Mike's post
dependent and independent variables, it seems to me that up to the what
Marx calls the "period of manufacture", the wage is indeed the
variable and the the rate of accumulation the dependent. Once fixed
capital is introduced the dependent becomes the imdependent and vice
Otherwise, why make a big deal out of the two periods?

I doubt this. It seems more to be a matter of logical level.
One can not, within a theory of value, explain exploitation
without assuming that labour power has a value. Hence at this
stage in the explanation it must be assumed to pre-exist.
It may be admited to have a historical and moral element
which is currently unexplained. Examination of accumulation
then provides the historical circumstances in which morality
has its play.

The saliance of the opposition between manufacture and
modern industry is related to the potential for opposition
to the process. During the period of manufacture, an independent
worker is not in principle unable to co-exist with the
manufactory. With industry the means of production become
too expensive for this to be possible.