REBLOGGED: Notes on the Fragment on Machines

by Jehu

Fragments — فتات

The “Fragment on Machines” is the best known (and perhaps least understood) portion of Marx’s tremendous collection of notes known as the Grundrisse. It has been subjected to study by seemingly every Marxist or pseudo-Marxist theorist since the 1970s, from the pioneers of the wertkritik school to Paul Mason. While the entire passage is worth reading, the most consequential portion of the “Fragment” is its sixth paragraph, which I will include here in its entirety:

The exchange of living labour for objectified labour – i.e. the positing of social labour in the form of the contradiction of capital and wage labour – is the ultimate development of the value-relation and of production resting on value. Its presupposition is – and remains – the mass of direct labour time, the quantity of labour employed, as the determinant factor in the production of wealth. But to the degree that large industry…

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