[OPE-L:5031] question

Michael Williams (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Thu, 15 May 1997 15:30:55 -0700 (PDT)

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> Dear Alls,
> Paul's 4993 make me pose to all of you this question, if you have some
> to waste.
> Why, according to you, the value of the commodity output is nothing but
> labour in Marx?
> riccardo

Instead of giving a theoretical reason, I am going to offer various
explanations why Marx adopted this position:
1. Everybody was at it. Not just the Scottish Poltical Economists, and the
French Utopian Socialists but even the English Political Philosophers, and
indeed Aristotle.
2. He thus 'saw' that it was so, and desired to given an account of how it
could be so, even under capitalism (ie post the appropriation of private
proeprty in land and the accumulation of capital.
3. He understood capitalism as a specific mode of the exercise of human
creativity in its relations with nature ('work'), and saw abstract labour
as the specifically capitalist (not to mention alienated and distorted)
mode of existence of work.

It is, thus, a postulate, not a conclusion of his work - although of course
one brilliantly justified by the totality of his systematic conceptual

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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