Re: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Paula <>
Date: Wed Mar 04 2009 - 17:55:37 EST

I meant also to reply to these points of Ian's:

> Unfortunately you add to the terminological confusion by equating
> abstract labor with productive labor.

The confusion arises from the unavoidable fact that the word 'productive'
has several meanings, all of which are legitimate, since labor produces many
different things. For example, labor may be productive of use-value; or it
may be productive of profits; or we may say that the labor of the producer
is productive of the consumer; etc. So I am specifying a particular meaning,
'productive of value', to avoid the confusion. If others use the term in a
different way, that's fine, as long as they explain what they mean (ie,
productive of what?).

In saying that value is produced by abstract labor I am not saying anything
new or original; it has been said many times in Capital and elsewhere. But
here again we find a similar problem, because the word 'abstract' also has
several legitimate, meanings. For instance, Marx writes that 'the only labor
which Hegel knows and recognizes is abstractly mental labor'. This is the
labor of the professional intellectual, and yes, it is abstract in one
sense, but not in the same sense that value-producing labor is abstract. So
again one has to specify - what is being abstracted from what?

> You are repeating your same point

True; and the whole discussion seems to be repeating itself, so I'm happy to
stop here for a while.


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Received on Wed Mar 4 17:57:36 2009

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