labour/labour-power

Chris Bailey chrisbailey at gn.apc.org
Tue Sep 20 00:22:11 MDT 1994


Dear Steve,

Your last reply to me is ridiculous.

+ Please stop writing such things as "you seem to have missed the point
+ concerning the non-commodity aspects of labour completely". I haven't:
+ I simply interpret them in a different fashion to you and Juan. To you,
+ they are the explanation as to why labour-power and only labour-power
+ is the source of surplus. To me, as I explain in my thesis (though not
+ in the two papers, for the usual reasons of editorial space), that
+ is the explanation as to why the payment to labour will normally EXCEED
+ the value of the commodity labour sells.

The point at issue is not whether your interpretation is different
from mine and Juan's, but whether it differs from that of Marx. It is
Marx who gives "the explanation as to why labour-power and only
labour-power is the source of surplus" *in the passages you describe
as "crucial" to your case*.

You take a series of quotations from Marx and make them say what you
want them to say *by ignoring a central aspect of their content* i.e.
*Marx's* distinction between labour and labour-power. When I point
this out you tell me I have to "stop writing such things". How absurd!

Apparently, your explanation for the source of surplus value has the
support of Marx, *so long as we ignore the actual explanation he
himself gives for surplus value*. That's great Steve! I am impressed.

Chris Bailey




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