Unibg International -Archive : Reading the Grundrisse
Unibg International

Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods

Reading the Grundrisse

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f) Christopher J. Arthur (University of Sussex, UK)
The practical truth of abstract labour

In the Grundrisse two important determinations of abstract labour are given that are absent from Capital: first, the 'practical truth' of abstract labour is a feature only of the most modern society (industrial capitalism), second, this form of labour is thematised in the framework of the capital relation (not of simple commodity circulation). The paper develops these notions. The second is congruent with my thesis, advance elsewhere, that the form-determinations of labour should be thematised only subsequent to the derivation of the general formula for capital. Moreover this implies a 'negative labour theory of value' in which productive labour is cognised in value only in sublated form. Immediately value positing is a function of 'the time of capital'; nonetheless, because this pure motion in time is borne by labour, in a sense socially necessary labour time is a determinant of its magnitude.