a note on 'The Fantasy of Equivalence'
story © Michael Betancourt, July 9, 2017 all rights reserved.
The capitalist conception as labor value being wholy dependent on the amount of time required for production, described by Karl Marx as a foundational principle of his critique, depends on an assumption of equivalence between not only differently skilled labor, but on the products of that labor. This fantasy authorizes the valorization of intellectual labor and production regardless of its validity within the database: the precession of agnotology around this apparent relativism depends on the same beliefs in equivalence, a reification of abstract principle as instrumentality. Marx’s analytic reveals this fallacy precisely in setting aside the issues of distinction between labor in order to advance an abstraction of that productive process—his disregard for the material differences between skilled an unskilled labor mirrored the labor-intensive productive processes of the period when he developed his critique: the concern with the productive capabilties of unskilled labor as a constraint on production provides a literal limit on the production work performed, for example, by child labor.
Copyright © Michael Betancourt July 9, 2017 all rights reserved.
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