Re: (OPE-L) the specific social relations [of production] associated with value

From: Paul C (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 18:12:28 EDT

Howard Engelskirchen wrote:

>The social relation of value (Marx definitely refers to such a thing -- not
>just to 'value' but to value as a social relation), as such, is at least a
>mediated relation of producers to nature and to each other.  Recall the
>definition I offered:  what is required is independent production of use
>values for others.   "Separate" or "independent" is a relation to nature and
>to others.  That makes it a relation of production, though not necessarily a
>relation of direct production.  A thief can take a product of someone else's
>labor to market, making a product intended for self-subsistent domestic
>consumption something instead independent and for others.
 I agree with the point that you are making Howard. The separate nature
of the
producers generally has a technological basis and it is this:
  - the units of production can not reproduce themselves entirely with
     their own products

This is obviously the case of capitalist firms. But it is also the case
for some peasant
farms - certain means of production - iron tools for example need to be
produced externally to
the family unit, grain may need access to a mill to be ground etc.

For slave latifundia the scale of production is such that, if the
classical agricultural mannuals
are anything to go by, the owners could at least aspire to autarchy.
Thus in the ancient
mode of production the separation of the units of production is much
less well established
than under capitalism, where the means of production enforce it. I think
it is to this
that we can attribute the tendancy of slave economies to collapse into
feudal or share-cropping
forms when the enforcing state power is removed.

The state power and its raising of taxes in money enforces a higher
degree of commodification
than is strictly required by the development of the forces of production.

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