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Relations Of Production And Class Relations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the notion of ‘productive labour’, within the strict limits of Marx’s own texts. It studies the articulation of this with the category of ‘social class’ in the classifying or teleological conceptions that the workers’ movement has frequently drawn from it. Marx opposes two concepts of production or ‘productive labour’: production in general, i.e. production of use-value, and specifically capitalist production or production of surplus-value. The chapter analyses the category of ‘working class’, in the sense that the French Marxist tradition gives to the political aspect of the relationship that defines the category of productive labour at the economic level, and shows how the reference to the relationship of structure and tendency is at the basis of both its relative pertinence and its tendency to swing between theoretical and mythic status.

Keywords: French Marxist tradition; productive labour; social class relations; surplus-value



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