[OPE-L:6553] [OPE-L:19] Labour, Slavery, and Marriage

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 18 May 1998 17:32:57 -0400 (EDT)

A few comments on Alan's "Something *entirely* different" (I changed the
title of the thread; if you can think of a title that better reflects the
subject of the thread, feel free to offer another thread title):

> It strikes me that the marriage contract is not renewable. But it carries
> clear labour obligations.
> It seems to be that, logically, it is therefore a form of slavery.

Mike L made a similar point in his _Beyond Capital: Marx's Political
Economy of the Working Class_ (NY, St. Martin's, 1992, pp. 112-116). I'd
be interested in hearing what you and others think about that section of
Mike's book.

On the other hand, Marx suggested elsewhere that marriage comes to take
the form of a commodity exchange. Thus, in the _Economic and Philosophic
Manuscripts_, he wrote (provocatively!) that "marriage is a legalized
form of prostitution".

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: since you are teaching a class on labour economics, you might want to
talk to Gil. He is co-authoring a textbook on that subject.