Re: [OPE] Odyssey and the Peruvian treasure

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Wed Feb 18 2009 - 06:45:24 EST

2009/2/17 GERALD LEVY <>

> 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. [...] I think you are identifying
> 'socially equalized labor' with abstract labor (on this point, see Rubin
> Ch. 14:

I read Rubin and can't really find any substantive difference. He says:

'abstract labour' is a historically specific form of 'socially equalized
labour' under capitalism

while I say

'abstract labour under capitalism' is a historically specific form of
'abstract labour in general'

This is only a difference of definitions not substance.

There are at least two reasons for maintaining this view. Firstly, it
clarifies the notion of exploitation and surplus labour-time in certain
non-capitalist modes of production. Secondly, labour-value is a scalar that
measures the social *cost* of producing various use-values and is thus
relevant for any economy that regulates the quantities of social labour in
various branches of production, *even* in a large-scale socialist economy.

//Dave Z

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Received on Wed Feb 18 06:47:14 2009

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