1 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2020
    1. The equality of all sorts of human labour is expressed objectively by their products all being equally values; the measure of the expenditure of labour power by the duration of that expenditure, takes the form of the quantity of value of the products of labour; and finally the mutual relations of the producers, within which the social character of their labour affirms itself, take the form of a social relation between the products.

      Every form of particular, useful labor, that which directs physiological energy towards specific outcomes, is grouped under the category of "abstract labor" under capitalism. The magnitude and duration of "abstract labor" is expressed as exchange value in commodities, which brings products into reducible, quantifiable relation to each other. It is because commodities are all equal to each other insofar as they are bearers of quantifiable exchange value that so many forms of human labor are equated as different magnitudes and durations of "abstract labor" (many value-form theorists and value critics have argued that "labor" as such is not a transhistorical category, but only a category under capitalism by virtue of its being the source of exchange value). The distribution of value amongst commodities indexes and organizes the division and distribution of labor, and this is what Marx means when he writes that "the mutual relations of the producers, [...] take the form of a social relation between the products." That "social relation" is the relation between producers, which is determined by the relations of value between commodities produced for the market.