[OPE-L:485] Re: abstract labor -Reply -Reply

MATTICK@adlibv.adelphi.edu (MATTICK@adlibv.adelphi.edu)
Wed, 15 Nov 1995 12:09:51 -0800

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To Paul Cockshott:
Some of the most obvious differences: in noncapitalist societies,
most goods aren't commodities, so commodities have a different
relation to the "economy" as a whole. Commodity circulation is often
restricted in different ways, with only certain classes of people
having access via purchase (or otherwise, of course) to certain goods
(the USSR, which I consider a sort of pre-capitalist system, provides
a good example). Conversely, money is not a universal equivalent. In
parts and times of feudal Europe, it could not buy land any more than
it could buy labor power; in a number of precapitalist cultures, only
certain goods exchange against money. Money also does not function as
capital, that is, for the purchase of wage labor for commodity
production. And so forth. There is a large Polanyi-inspired
anthropological literature on non-capitalist commodity circulation;
if you are interested, I could try to dig up the refernces.

Paul M.