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But by means of the price you pay for it every day, I must be able to reproduce it every day, thus allowing myself to sell it again. Apart from natural deterioration through age etc, I must be able to work tomorrow with the same normal amount of strength, health and freshness as today. Very well! Like a sensible, thrifty owner of property I will husband my sole wealth, my labourpower, and abstain from wasting it foolishly. Every day I will spend, set in motion, transfer into labour only as much of it as is compatible with its normal duration and healthy development. By an unlimited extension of the working day, you may in one day use up a quantity of labour-power greater than I can restore in three.

What you gain in labour I lose in the substance of labour.

Marx and Singularity: From the Early Writings to the Grundrisse

Using my labour and despoiling it are quite different things. Between equal rights, force decides. Hence, in the history of capitalist production, the establishment of a norm for the working day presents itself as a struggle over the limits of that day, a struggle between collective capital, i. Hence its urgency for the individual worker: capital is indifferent to his or her reproduction other than as part of a certain social aggregate of labour-power. There are profound and politically significant complexities in the determination of the value of labour-power that are repressed here: issues to do with the temporality and social character of reproduction, temporal relations between generations — not to mention immigration, and so on.

The relationship between these two conceptions is a moot issue.


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Crucially, there is no philosophical thematization of an existential conception of finitude as mortality; although there are frequent moral and political uses of the idea. In particular, there is no appeal to finitude in the account of labour-time as the measure of value. In this respect, the existential meaning of temporalization is dependent upon the cosmological time of nature, which involves the periodic annihilation of each individual human being.

We can see this in the way in which time remains a measure of wealth , for Marx, in the Grundrisse , beyond capitalism, and beyond the value-form — not as the socially average necessary labour-time embedded in commodities, but as the disposable time that is the condition of that development of human powers which is an end in itself. But its tendency [is] always, on the one side, to create disposable time, on the other, to covert it into surplus labour. Once they have done so — and disposable time thereby ceases to have an antithetical existence — then, on the one side, necessary labour time will be measured by the needs of the social individual, and, on the other, the development of the power of social production will grow so rapidly that, even though production is now calculated for the wealth of all, disposable time will grow for all.

For real wealth is the developed productive power of all individuals. The measure of wealth is then not only longer, in any way, labour time, but rather disposable time.

Everything that has a fixed form, such as the product etc, appears as merely a moment, a vanishing moment, in this movement. However, it is not clear what distinguishes this communism of radically multiple singularities from an immanent destruction of the social itself, since it is defined solely negatively, by the withdrawal of capitalist sociality, without reference to alternative forms of the social — some of which would need to be sustained at a global level. However, this rejection appears to be based on a misreading of the temporal grammar of the passages concerned, and an associated tendency to conflate the categories of wealth and value.

Wealth, for Marx, is a transhistorical category grounded in a relationship between needs, productive forces and time; value is a measure of wealth specific to capitalist societies. For example, when Marx writes, As soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well-spring of wealth, labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure, and hence exchange value [must cease to be the measure] of use value.

The surplus labour of the masses has ceased to be the condition for the development of general wealth, just as the non-labour of the few , for the development of the general powers of the human head. With that, production based on exchange value breaks down, and the direct, material production process is stripped of the form of penury and antithesis.

These are rhetorical patterns familiar from the Communist Manifesto.


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  • This is hardly news: capital must periodically destroy wealth in order to reinstitute accumulation — the production of surplus value. These are now utterly untenable, nineteenth-century assumptions.

    Existing society has turned free or disposable time into the site for the realization of value consumption and the culture industry in a manner that was unimaginable in the nineteenth century. I am grateful for the discussions at those events. Bergson recognizes a specificity of the historical in relation to the vital. What does this mean? It means that with man and man alone difference becomes conscious, raises itself to self-consciousness.

    If difference itself is biological, consciousness of difference is historical.

    Marx and Singularity : From the Early Writings to the Grundrisse - calveloconew.tk

    It is true that we must not exaggerate the function of this historical consciousness of difference. Duration by itself is consciousness, life by itself is consciousness.

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    Matteo Mandarini,. Rodney Livingstone, Merlin Press, London, p.

    The Grundrisse

    See Christopher J. It is mortality alone that gives meaning to time; which is a condition of its function as a measure of value. Marx, Grundrisse , pp. Adorno, Critical Models: Interventions and Catchwords , trans. Henry W. Isabella Bertoletti et al. Conjuncture First, there is an increasing awareness in the European philosophical tradition that — in its non-logicist variants — post-Kantian philosophy is first and foremost a philosophy of time. Now-time Benjamin empty time historicism single, v. Notes 1. Fetal culture. Latest reviews. Recently published : Jan Kandiyali ed. A second collection of papers from Marx and Philosophy Society conferences.

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