Re: Productive and Unproductive Labour

Michael Williams (Michael@MWILLIAM.U-NET.COM)
Sat, 7 Feb 1998 17:52:21 +0000

Thanks to Fred for continuing to try to solve my problem of making
sense of the P/u-P Labour distinction. Before responding in detail,
let me sum up my response:

A. I do not agree that any wage labour under capitalism can be
adequately characterised as u-P just on the grounds of the kind of
use-value that its commodity product has (just so it has one).

B. The 'closeness' of the Labour to the final act of mere exchnage
(sale) is irrelevant.

C. It is labour, not 'functions' that are the object of the

D. The question of the degree of vertical integration, the extent of
'contracting out' or whatever is not germane to the issue.

E. IMO, The only sustainable basis for a distinction is that u-P
labour does not produce a commodity, because it is not performed
under capitalist direct relations of production (eg domestic labour,
non-commodity producing state labour).