Dave B writes:

>Further to Hugh's.
>Isnt capitalism generalised commodity production which includes
>labour-power i.e. wage-labour?

Very much so.

>Prior to capitalism commodity production was secondary to use- value
>>production, and typically not by means of wage labour.  Therefore the
>socially >necessary labour time was not set by  abstract labour realised
>as commodities >entering into the value of  labour-power but by concrete
>labour.

No. But the sphere of commodity production took the form of enclaves, in
which there were a lot of small producers who owned their own means of
production, and a good many who owned slave-labour into the bargain. But
the value of a commodity of any kind is *never* set by concrete labour, by
the *quality* of the labour, but by the abstract necessary labour required
as input. It's just that the determination of this input is terribly
distorted in other modes of production by comparison with capitalism and
its "free" wage-labour.


>As for post-capitalism, labour power will cease to be a commodity  as soon
>as >its value is no longer set by the market and set by the  plan. The
>plan may use >market mechanism's as tools but under  the dictorship of the
>proletariat, like >state capitalism in Lenin's  usage. Therefore there
>will probably considerable >commodity  exchange but like pre-cap society,
>not the production of Labour- >power as a commodity.

Yes. With the rider that productivity will need to be higher than that
attained by capitalism (at least with respect to the economy as a whole) in
order for the setting of prices by planned labour input to supersede the
pressures of the Law of Value working through the market. This was the big
economic reality that made it so difficult to control prices and planning
in the early Soviet Union and led to the excesses of kulakism etc.

Cheers,

Hugh





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