From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Feb 04 2008 - 11:10:47 EST
Jerry Levy wrote: >> I disagree with you about whether capitalism requires the >> existence of a personal class of capitalists. I think the inate >> tendency of the mode of production is towards the >> depersonalisation of capital, and that this reaches its extreme >> form in state capitalism. >> > > > Hi Paul C: > > It might equally be said that the "depersonalization of the working class" is an inate tendency of capitalism, but that in no way eliminates the existence of the working class! > > Yes but the depersonalisation of capital expresses itself in specific juridical forms : first the joint stock company, then the state corporation. There are no corresponding forms for the 'depersonalisation of the working class' since the working class was never a legal personality to start out with. > >> On the function of the idea of unproductive/productive labour >> distinction. I agree with you on Smith, but with regard to Marx >> you do not give a purpose to the distinction, you say it >> concerned the specific form in which exploitation took place, but >> I feel that >> a. In saying this you are not giving a purpose >> > > > By explaining the specific forms that exploitation takes under capitalism, he is able to explain more clearly the relations of production associated with capitalism and the dialectic (and, hence, developmental tendencies) associated with the commodity, money, and capital forms. This is purpose enough. > Yes but why should this explanation take the form of a distinction between productive and unproductive labour? > > >> b. You are failing to take into account his arguments about faux-> frais etc. These only make sense >> if the distinction has some component other than just the form >> of exploitation. >> > > > I don't follow the above. How do you think the incidental expenses associate with production relate to this discussion? Because he identifies certain forms of waged labour which he counts as faux frais of capitalist production and hence unproductive. His concept of productive/unproductive does not reduce to wage labour/non waged labour. For him, to be productive labour under capitalism it had to be both waged and by nature productive of commodities.
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