The Position of Labour in Capitalist and Communist Society

  • David McLellan


The exchange of living labour for objectified labour, i.e. the establishment of social labour in the antagonistic form of capital and wage-labour, is the final development of the value relationship and of production based on value. The prerequisite for this relationship is the mass of direct labour time, the quantity of labour utilised, which is the decisive factor in the production of wealth. But as heavy industry develops, the creation of real wealth depends less on labour time and on the quantity of labour utilised than on the power of mechanical agents which are set in motion during labour time. The powerful effectiveness of these agents, in its turn, bears no relation to the immediate labour time that their production costs. It depends rather on the general state of science and on technological progress, or the application of this science to production. (The development of science — especially of the natural sciences and with them of all the others — is itself once more related to the development of material production.) Agriculture, for example, is a pure application of the science of material metabolism, and the most advantageous way of employing it for the good of society as a whole.


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Copyright information

© David McLellan 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • David McLellan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

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