[OPE-L:198] abstract labor and OPE abstracts

James Devine (JDevine@lmumail.lmu.edu)
Wed, 4 Oct 1995 08:59:16 -0700

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Paul argues, if I understand him correctly, that "abstract labor"
exists independently of market exchange, seemingly as a physical
entity. Others disagree. I, for example, think that abstract
labor exists only from the point of view of capital as a whole.
(Paul says that in some future socialist society, we will be
better able to measure abstract labor; I would say that a
socialist (or communist?) society would abolish abstract labor,
replacing it with the treatment of people as people in all their
polymorphous perplexity rather than as inputs to a societal
productive machine.)

But we cannot settle these issues over OPE, unless we want to get
into sustained debates as on pen-l.

Instead of aiming to coming to a definite conclusion on abstract
labor and other contentious issues, we should aim instead to
outline the main distinct opinions. For each issue, there might
be three or four views (and we should not be limited by the list
of alternative views that shows up in the literature). For each
of these views, the person who agrees with it should produce an
_abstract_ -- or a short paper -- summarizing his or her
opionion, along with as complete a bibliography as possible.

In short, we have to agree to disagree, but make the disagreement
as informed as possible.

in OPE-l solidarity,

Jim Devine jdevine@lmumail.lmu.edu
Econ. Dept., Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles, CA 90045-2699 USA
310/338-2948 (daytime, during workweek); FAX: 310/338-1950
"Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti." (Go your own way
and let people talk.) -- K. Marx, paraphrasing Dante A.