Monday, April 27, 2009

O'Connor's "The Conditions of Production and the Production of Conditions"

Capitalist nature can be defined as “everything that is not produced as a commodity but that is treated as if it is a commodity”. Polanyi described “labor” and “land” as being fictitious commodities because of “the fiction that labor and land were produced for sale”. Marx’s idea of “conditions of production” is similar to that of Polanyi’s “labor and land”. Marx developed three “conditions of production”: “personal condition of production” which is the labor power of the workers, “natural/external physical condition” which is land, and “communal, general conditions” is physical infrastructure. Each of these conditions was determined to have no exchange value and to be fictitious.
Capitalist states are both bureaucratic and political, and they have the function of protecting collective capitalist interests. These are served through a series of confrontations and conflicts. These conflicts are between movements in civil societies and within civil societies. Relationships between capital and production conditions are reconciled bye socioeconomic and political struggles, ideology, and bureaucratic realities. Sorry for the minimal summary, but I had a really hard time trying to follow this article. My brain is fried!

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