From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Fri Apr 08 2005 - 00:30:47 EDT
Nicky, Yes I agree that surplus-value is specific to capitalism and should not be directly identified with exploitation as I did in my bungled post that can only generate confusion on that point. Given what I wrote you are right to remind me of the ABCs. Unfortunately, my error has detracted from the point I was trying to make. So to try and get back on track. The case of capitalism with slavery perhaps better illustrates the general point that the wage-capital relation alone cannot be constituitive of the production of surplus-value. To put it perhaps too simply, (i) profit is a form of surplus-value, and (ii) slave-owners make profits, therefore (iii) the wage/capital relation is not uniquely constituitive of surplus-value, even within a historically-specific kind of capitalism. I suppose it might be possible to deny (ii) but I can't see how. I therefore do not think that the wage/capital relation can be the crucial distinction, although it is an important part of the story, as, for example, it makes possible a greater degree of innovation compared to the slave/slave-owner relation. I hope I haven't tried your patience too much ... -Ian.
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