[OPE-L:2701] Re: Sources on abstract labour

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 18:25:30 -0700 (PDT)

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Just to clarify my own position:

On Wed, 24 Jul 1996, Paul Cockshott wrote:

> I would like to know of any published material that
> explicitly makes the arguments either that:
> 1. Abstract labour only exists in capitalist countries.

I think "abstract labor" as a narrowly defined, technical concept in
Marx's economic theory arises from commodity production (not necessarily
capitalist production) along with money.

> 2. Goods sold for money are only commodities if produced
> under capitalist production relations.

I think Marx defines the commodity as a product in a system of division of
labor organizaed by exchange, in which the duality of "use-value" and
"exchange value" arises. Commodity production is the foundation of
capitalist social relations of production, but not coextensive with it.

I think Murray's posting with the quotes from Rubin are a good place to
start to come grips with this way of thinking about Marx's theory.