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Abstract and Concrete Labour

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Abstract

The reproduction of society requires the production and distribution of the mass of products which forms the material basis of its existence. This in turn means that each society must somehow ensure that its available social labour time is regularly directed, in particular quantities and proportions, towards the specific applications needed to ensure social reproduction. As Marx points out, ‘every child knows that a nation which ceased to work … even for a few weeks, would perish’ (Marx 1867a).

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References

  • Marx, K. 1867a. Capital, vol. I, 1st ed., ch. 1 and Appendix to ch. 1. In Value: Studies by Karl Marx. Trans. and Ed. A. Dragstedt. London: New Park Publications, 1976.

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  • Marx, K. 1867b. Capital, vol. I. Introduced by E. Mandel. London: Penguin, 1976, ch. 1.

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  • Marx, K. 1879. Marginal notes to A. Wagner’s textbook on political economy. In Value: Studies by Karl Marx. Trans. and Ed. A. Dragstedt. London: New Park Publications, 1976.

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Shaikh, A. (2018). Abstract and Concrete Labour. In: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_478

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