Exploitation and all that...

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters quilty at philos.umass.edu
Mon Nov 14 19:50:27 MST 1994


Allin Cottrell writes:
*} We may not be able to quantify the degree of exploitation of,
*} say, a peasant in a feudal society, but we can certainly
*} say that the peasant class as a whole is exploited.   Where
*} else does the food consumed by the landlords, priests, etc
*} come from?

Just to play devil's advocate, how about, "The food consumed by the
priest is his proper share reflecting his socially necessary labor
in maintaining the 'spiritual life' of the society...  and if he
gets a little more food that the peasant, that's because his work is
a little bit more important."

Obviously, this is a silly notion (one you can read in the _NY
Times_ pretty much everyday also).  But except for the measure of
commodities, how can you tell what is *really* productive labor, and
which unproductive?  And what's the theory to determine that the
landlord/priest don't just do so much more socially necessary things
to "merit" their greater reward?  Maybe there is a pure situation
where a ruler is a true parasite in doing *zero* labor, but where
*any* labor is done by rulers (i.e.  managing) we kinda need the
commodity measures to unveil the actual rates-of-exploitation and
all that IMO.

Yours, Lulu...

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