[OPE-L:3406] RE: slave labour conditions

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 09:24:43 -0700 (PDT)

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>But in this
>dispute what is worthy to point out is this: Paul C. overlooks
>what a social system is FOR; processes do not matter
>in a crude empiricist framework.

Paul C:
Social systems are not for anything, they simply exist. I am
a Darwinian materialist, as I understand Marx to have been.
There is no telos.

>But of course, what Andrew was pointing out was beyond the concreteness
>of examples like this. To set v = 0 and ASSUME people live on
>air, is to reinforce the case that shows that the internal dynamics
>of a social system based on profit (endless drive to accumulation)
>is independent of wage and has to do with labour at the
> point of production.

Paul C:
This, however, is a strange social system since it abstracts from the
most fundamental requirement of humans - to eat. It is not a social system
at all, containing as it must, no people. Who is it that can live on air?
Among the Yoruba of western Nigeria, the chameleon is credited with this,
his consumption of flies being so stealthy as to be invisible, but the
society you propose could only be a society of angelic spirits not of
material beings. I regard speculation about spiritual social systems
to be rather idealist.
Paul Cockshott