Use Value (and Aesthetics)

Paul Cockshott wpc at clyder.gn.apc.org
Thu Mar 30 13:55:30 MST 1995


Howies egg question:

This only seems a mystery to us if our vision of production
is cast in a thoroughly capitalistic form.

In a capitalist society labour is considered productive only
when it is productive for capital - ie private wage labour.
But any real capitalist society is a combination of modes
of production. Capitalist production is combined with
domestic production in which the product never appears on
the market. From the standpoint of society as a whole, the
labour performed in the home is part of the social working
day - more obviously so, the greater of the portion of the
product that is produced domestically. As such this portion
of the social working day contributes to the reproduction of
labour power and is part of its value.

But, since the domestic mode of production is non-commodity
producing, this portion of the value of labour power does
not manifest itself as exchange value and never appears in
the national accounts.

As the socialisation of production proceeds - children being
taught at school rather than at home, food been cooked in
canteens and burger bars etc, this portion of the social
working day begins to receive commodity form, become subject
to calculations of efficiency etc and its technical form
becomes revolutionised.


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