[OPE-L:474] Re: abstract labor

Riccardo Bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Sun, 12 Nov 1995 03:47:50 -0800

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On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Michael A. Lebowitz wrote:

> I think Andrew is a bit tough on Fred E. there. In Chapter 2 of Vol I
> (Penguin/Vintage, 179-80), Marx noted that commodities "must stand the test
> as use-values before they can be realized as values. For the labour expended
> on them only counts in so far as it is expended in a form which is useful
> for others. However, only the act of exchange can prove whether that labour
> is useful for others, and its product consequently capable of satisfying the
> needs of others."
> I don't see this as far from what Engels was saying. Further, despite what
> Marx may have said elsewhere, here in this vital section he is clearly
> saying that the commodity only is a commodity as such (only is "actualised")
> insofar as it is validated as a use-value in the act of exchange. Ie., until
> that point, it is a mere product and the labour expended upon it is concrete
> and private (and merely potentially abstract and social).

I cannot be in more agreement, Mike


Riccardo Bellofiore e-mail: bellofio@cisi.unito.it
Department of Economics Tel: (39) -35- 277505 (direct)
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