[OPE-L:621] Re: Digression: Forms of Tech. Change

rakesh bhandari (djones@uclink.berkeley.edu)
Sat, 2 Dec 1995 03:24:57 -0800

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And another form of technical change...

In the section on "The Real Subsumption of Labor under Capitalism from the
*Results of the Immediate Process of Production* (by the way, Felton
Shortall in *The Incomplete Marx* has a very provocative interpretation of
the appendix to vol. I vis-a-vis the logic of capital), Marx writes:

"It is precisely the productivity of labor, the mass of production, of
population and of surplus population created by this mode of production
that constantly calls new branches of industry into being once labour and
capital have been set free. And in these new branches of industry capital
can once more operate on a small scale and pass through the various phases
until this new industry too can be operated on a social scale. The process
is continuous. At the same, *capitalist production* has a tendency to take
over all *brances of industry* not yet acquired and where only *formal
subsumption* obtains. Once it has appropriated agriculture and mining, the
manufacture of the principal textiles, etc., it moves on to other sectors
where the artisans are still *formally* or even genuinely
independent....The material result of capitalist production, if we except
the development of the *social productive forces of labour*, is to raise
the quantity of production and multiply and diversify the spheres of
production and their sub-spheres. For it only then that the corresponding
development of the *exchange value* of the products emerge--as the realms
in which they can operate or realize themselves as *exchange values.*"
Vintage, ed., pp. 1035-7)