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

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu Apr 14 2005 - 09:32:52 EDT

>  My approach looks to what is
> specific to the social relation of capitalism and I stress the actual
> or potential resistance of living labout to capital in the process of
> production.

Hi Chris,

Isn't there resistance by animals everyday to their "owners", who are
often capitalists?   E.g.  anyone who is  familiar with horses and mules
knows that they have a will and frequently engage in acts of resistance.
(Indeed,  one current popular perspective likens 'breaking' a horse, so
that it will accept a human rider, to rape.  This is often a violent
process which is resisted by the animals.  Even afterwards there is
violence and resistance: hence the need for spurs.)   This *form of
resistance*, though, is more similar to the form of resistance by slaves
against slaveowners (just as the *form of  compulsion*, i.e. direct
physical compulsion,  is more similar to that used against slaves) than
to the form of resistance of wage-workers against capital and the
(generally indirect) form of compulsion used by capital against
wage-workers.   In other words: what is key here is not actual or
potential resistance by "living labour" but rather the *form* of
resistance of
labour which itself is an expression of the specific social relations of
production associated with capitalism, i.e. the form of resistance
of labor can be seen as an expression of a particular class relationship
(that between wage-labour and capital).

> Incidentally marx took up the animal case in the Grundrisse 500-1 which
suits my case.

Yes, that's an interesting section.  Yet,  contra Marx, many animals
clearly do have "will."    Whether or not the owner is also a "master",
there can be no doubt that owners of animals often come to believe that
they are the "master" of those animals.

I don't recall -- did Marx ever "own" any pets?  Had he "owned" a dog or
cat  (whether or not he came to view those animals from the perspective of
"master") he would have known that they do indeed have a will!  (Indeed,
the old joke about the difference between dogs and cats come to mind: dogs
view the human [who is head of their pack] as "master" and generally seek
to please;  cats view the purpose of humans [that they live with] as
serving their wants and needs; humans train dogs, cats train people, i.e.
dogs generally accept the master-servant relation while cats believe that
they are the masters and humans should be the servants!  -- this is,
admittedly,  written from the perspective of someone who is rather more
fond of cats than dogs.)

In solidarity, Jerry

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