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Debating Lebowitz: Is Class Conflict the Moral and Historical Element in the Value of Labour-Power?

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Prompted by the debate over Michael Lebowitz's contributions on the relative absence of class struggle in Marx's Capital (and, in particular, the determining if subjective role played by labour in resisting capital), this paper seeks to push analysis forward by closer examination of the notion of the value of labour-power. It does so by arguing that labour markets are structured, reproduced and transformed in complex and differentiated ways, whilst the moral and historical elements that make up the use-value interpretation of the value of labour-power also need to be addressed in a differentiated manner rather than as a fixed bundle.


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Affiliations: 1: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London;, Email:


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