Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Ambivalence of Verfügbare Zeit

Back in December I posted an excerpt from the GrundrisseReichtum ist verfügbare Zeit und nichts weiter, without noticing that in it was a prototype for Marx's concept of socially necessary labour time (Gesellschaftlich notwendige Arbeitzeit): 

Die Schöpfung von viel disposable time außer der notwendigen Arbeitszeit für die Gesellschaft überhaupt und jedes Glied derselben (d.h. Raum für die Entwicklung der vollen Produktivkräfte der einzelnen, daher auch der Gesellschaft), diese Schöpfung von Nicht-Arbeitszeit erscheint auf dem Standpunkt des Kapitals, wie aller frühren Stufen, als Nicht-Arbeitszeit, freie Zeit für einige.

The creation of a large quantity of disposable time apart from necessary labour time for society generally and each of its members (i.e. room for the development of the individuals’ full productive forces, hence those of society also), this creation of not-labour time appears in the stage of capital, as of all earlier ones, as not-labour time, free time, for a few.

Ultimately, I will have to go back (again!) to my post remarking on the absence of socially necessary labour time (explicitly) and qualify it with this occurrence. What this reminds me of is that part of my working hypothesis is that from time to time authors "forget" crucial elements of their discourse and simply carry on without them (or against them) as if they hadn't thought what they thought. It happens to me here.

The upshot of this revision is that three passages from the Grundrisse make substantial contributions to a socially necessary labour time prototype concept. The other two I discussed in previous posts, Socially Ambivalent Labour Time I: Grundrisse and Necessary labour. Surplus labour. Surplus population. Surplus capital. (The Return of "Disposable People"). Combined with Reichtum ist verfügbare Zeit und nichts weiterDisposable People and Socially Ambivalent Labour Time VI: TSV part 3, chapter 21: "Our pamphleteer overlooks two things", I think I am beginning to see an outline emerge of the huge influence the 1821 pamphlet and his critique of it had on Marx.

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