[OPE-L:5093] Re: the creation of labour-power

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 21 May 1997 19:58:21 -0700 (PDT)

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Mike W wrote in [OPE-L:5090]:

> Jerry asks:
> > What, then, determines the "creation" of labour-power within the
> > capitalist mode of production?
> I am not sure what you are getting at. So here are some probing comments:
> 1. I am concerned here primarily to say what the creation of L-P is *not*.
> It is not capitalist commodity production. That is there is no 'domestic
> labour process' driven by the imperatives of value production and
> valorisation.
> 2. This does not preclude a variety of economic factors effecting the rate
> of 'baby production', under some situations, quite significantly. <snip
> of other interesting comments by Mike W>

I understood from your previous post what you view the "creation" of
labour-power is *not*. My question, which seeks to broaden the
discussion, concerns what the creation of labour-power *is*. More
specifically, in what ways can we relate the "creation" (and re-creation)
of labour-power in particular *forms* to our understanding of the
reproduction of capitalist social relations? For instance, is the
reproduction of the nuclear family and patriarchy systematically
necessary for the reproduction of capitalism or is it only contingently
required within particular capitalist social formations? Thus, when you
say that you don't want to "preclude a variety of economic factors
affecting the rate of 'baby production', under some situations", my
response is; a) let's discuss these "economic" [and extra-economic]
"factors"; and b) let's discuss to what degree they apply to "some
situations" vs. to what degree they are (or are not) necessarily related
to the reproduction of the capitalist mode of production.

I address the above questions not to Mike W alone, but to anyone else on
the list who views these as important theoretical and political questions.

In solidarity, Jerry