Re: [OPE-L] Why aren't non-labourers sources of value? labour

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 13 2005 - 21:41:01 EDT

At 11:06 PM +0100 4/13/05, Christopher Arthur wrote:
>For me and you who stres time as the crucial quantitative form
>determinaton, and for debates with Greens, the interesting question is the
>dofference between labour labouring and nature naturing (e.g. maturing wine
>etc). To conflate these time is precisely to miss the ontological
>difference between natural/techical time and social time.
>The slave case has always bothered me in its shape as plantation slaver
>where it is clearly embedded in an M-M circuit. I guess I have to agree
>with you that slaves are like donkeys, i.e. stubborn and coerced
>physically, and of course bought outright not hired. However to some extent
>this intermediate case may  be open to definition.

I must admit to being confused by your post here.

Are you saying that slaves slaving are possibly somewhere between
donkeys donkeying/ nature naturing and wage laborers laboring? What
keeps slaves from being cleanly on the social time side and being
instead liminal or on the the natural/nature time side?

How did commodity producing slaves (often up to 80% of the working
time of modern plantation slaves was devoted to commodity production)
come to be excluded from or not included in the pool of social labor
time which is divided and allocated?

Also note that I have never said all slaves are enslaved to produce
surplus value.

I don't think it's a social relations view that keeps many Marxists
from understanding that the 400 hundred year old institution of
modern plantation slavery and other formally unfree labor
arrangements were through and through capitalist. The people on whom
I am drawing all emphasize social relations.

  The problem is a dogmatic Hegelian-Marxist philosophy of history,
close to Stalin's stagist viewppoint,  that has mankind marching
through clean historical stages of personal dependence/personal
independence based on objective dependence/free social individuality
and of internal relations that are concretely particular/external
relations that are abstractly universal/internal relations that are
concretely universal and of relations of inequality/relations of
formal equality/relations of concrete equality.

We might want to call such a stagist history, spun out of an Hegelian
logic, a social relations viewpoint but it's an eschatology, a
dogmatism, an epistemological barrier to a scientific history.

Marx is certainly not blameless.


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