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2. Abstract Labour Time: Form and Content

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Chapter Summary

Money represents abstract labour time, but does not symbolise it. This simply means that commodity-money must itself necessarily be value. Labour time as it appears in money can only be the homogeneous and abstract time of the clock, whose parts (minutes, hours, and days) are exactly identical. Individual labour time, however, does not seem at first to be reducible to this abstract time. The author further specifies the real meaning of the concept of 'abstract labour time', at the risk of seemingly moving away from Marx's method such as it appears in the first volume of Capital, especially in its first chapters. Thus, abstract labour appears in two forms: as a simple unity with itself (value, universality) and as a 'composed' unity (value/use-value, abstract/concrete labour, particularity). In Marx, money as the critique of abstract/concrete labours is the co-ordinating centre of the various productive activities.

Keywords: abstract labour time; Capital; composed unity; individual labour time; simple unity



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