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I agree with Mike W's comment about the non-capitalist character of a fully
automated economy. In his comment, as I understand it, value is a principle
of distribution of labour and goods. In a workless economy, the structure of
demand must be determined by some principle unrelated to labour performed or
There is another possible line of argument too; value rules not only the
division of labour but the structure of work itself; work under capitalism
(ie, work ruled by (surplus) value) is alienated, subordinated work. If there
is no work, there is no basis for (capitalist) exploitation. In this case, no
work means no exploitation, no capitalism and, therefore, no value.
I think Marx pursues both lines of argument in the Grundrisse.
Looking at it from another angle, the argument that machines (or land,
minerals, horses or cattle) create value reflects a fundamental
misunderstanding of the meaning of the category 'value' for Marx - it
conflates value with wealth and commodities with things.
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