[OPE-L:2667] Re: More on abstract labour

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 12:11:55 -0700 (PDT)

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On Wed, 17 Jul 1996, Allin Cottrell wrote:
(among other things)
> The planned
> allocation of labour-times in pre-capitalist societies also
> involves a mensuration of abstract (general human) labour (albeit
> in a different social form), as would labour-time planning under
> socialism. In both cases the mensuration proceeds in terms of
> social norms (average labour-times, with pressure on any
> slackers to work up to the average), and involves some sort of
> calculation of the opportunity cost of labour-power that could
> equally well be allocated to different concrete activities.

I'm still skeptical. This way of talking about "allocation" seems to me to
read back into other social contexts the habits of calculation and
"economization" that are associated with commodity producing society.