[OPE-L] Re: Productive and Unproductive Labour

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 2 Feb 1998 08:02:42 -0500 (EST)

Hi Paul.

On Mon, 2 Feb Paul C wrote:

> We know from Sraffa that the rate of profit is determined
> by the technical productivity of the basic sector and the
> division of the output of this sector between contending
> social classes. Since luxury production is non-basic it
> can not affect the rate of profit.
> Since the rate of surplus value is determined by the ratio
> between the working day and the necessary labour time, and
> luxury production does not enter into necessary labour time
> ( i.e. not used to make wage goods ), then luxury production
> can not contribute to the production of surplus value.

We "know" _only_ that the above is a fair summary of Sraffa's and the
surplus approach perspective on the basic/non-basic distinction. What we
don't "know", though, is the relationship (if any) between Sraffa's
basic/non-basic distinction and Marx's productive/unproductive labour

Since we haven't yet discussed "basics/non-basics", though, perhaps we
could do so. (unfortunately, I think that Ajit's mail is still set to

In solidarity, Jerry