RE: [OPE] Odyssey and the Peruvian treasure

Date: Tue Feb 17 2009 - 08:38:34 EST

> Jerry, it is not that labour-value is natural or eternal or that serves in an underlying

> organising principle of all societies.

> As I wrote previously:
> As soon as society's labour is not performed in isolation but is compared in some way

> then it is meaningful to speak of abstract labour. Production for market exchange is

> not the only way in which concrete labours are compared. Public works (the construction

> of large-scale dams, irrigation and monuments) is another ancient way in which the

> abstract potential of labour is treated in a real process.
> Where do you disagree with this?

Dave Z:


I don't disagree with the claim that there have been a variety of ways historically

by which concrete labors have been compared. I disagree with the perspective that

says that whenever and wherever there can be comparisons made of the

productivity of direct producers that you thereby have abstract labor and value.

(btw, I find the expression 'labor-value' to be redundant - just like the expression

'productivity of labor' instead of productivity). I think you are identifying 'socially

equalized labor' with abstract labor (on this point, see Rubin Ch. 14:


In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Tue Feb 17 08:43:32 2009

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