[OPE-L:4721] RE: use-value of money

Michael William (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 15:26:53 -0700 (PDT)

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Hello Andrew,
After some things that expressed with admirable clarity our agreements you

> Still, abstract labor can be measured with a stopwatch, as in
> time-motion study. When the time-motion specialists go around
> with their stopwatches, they aren't measuring Mary's labor or
> Joes's labor, composing-labor, theorizing-labor, but just plain
> old *labor*, labor-as-such, abstract labor.

I am no expert in the history of the labour process, but whether these
Taylorists were stopping the times of particular operations as a
contribution to 'pre-commensurating' calculations, as a prelude to
economising on labour or as part of the real subordination of labour, what
they wrote down on their clip-boards would surely be entries like:
"sharpening one pin-point: 7.2 seconds". This surely does *not* abstract
from concrete/specific labour?

As to the general question as to whether abstract labour is measured by
stopping (any) concrete labour, I'm still thinking on't. The stumbling
block for me is that abstract labour emerges in fact from a complex set of
social processes - capitalist generalised commodity circulation. This is a
real abstraction. So is stopping concrete labour. But are they the *same*
real abstraction?

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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