Marx on Inversion.

Came across this passage on inversion in The Results again. Shit hott:

This ability of objectified labour to convert itself into capital, i.e. to convert the means of production into means of command over, and exploitation of, living labour, appears under capitalist production as an inherent characteristic of the means of production (and it is indeed dunamei bound up with them on this basis); it appears as inseparable from them, hence as a quality which falls to them as things, as use values, as means of production. They therefore appear to be in and for themselves capital, and capital, which expresses a particular relation of production, a particular social relation, in which the owners of the conditions of production confront living labour capacities within production, therefore appears as a thing, just as value appeared as the quality of a thing and the economic determination of the thing as a commodity appeared as its quality as a thing; and just as the social form assumed by labour in money expressed itself as the qualities of a thing.[218] In fact the rule of the capitalists over the workers is only the rule over the workers themselves of the conditions of labour it, their independence, in the independent position they have taken on vis-à-vis the workers (apart from the objective conditions of the production process — the means of production — the conditions of labour include the objective conditions for the preservation and effective functioning of labour power, i.e. the means of subsistence), although this relation only comes to realisation in the real production process, which, as we have seen, is essentially a process of the production of surplus value, which includes the preservation of the old value; it is a process of the self-valorisation of the capital advanced. In circulation, capitalist and worker only stand vis-à-vis each other as sellers of commodities, but owing to the specific polarity of the kinds of commodity they sell to each other, the worker necessarily enters into the production process as a constituent in the use value, the real existence and the value existence of capital, although this relation is first brought to realisation within the production process, and the capitalist, who as a buyer of labour only exists dunamei, first becomes a real capitalist when the worker, who is eventua1iter [ultimately] converted into a wage labourer through the sale of his labour capacity, first really falls under the command of capital in that process. The functions performed by the capitalist are only the functions of capital itself performed with consciousness and will — the functions of value valorising itself through the absorption of living labour. The capitalist functions only as capital personified, capital as a person, just as the worker only functions as the personification of labour, which belongs to him as torment, as exertion, while it belongs to the capitalist as the substance that creates and increases wealth; and in fact it appears as such an element incorporated into capital in the production process, as its living, variable, factor. The rule of the capitalist over the worker is therefore the rule of the object over the human, of dead labour over living, of the product over the producer, since in fact the commodities which become means of domination over the worker (but purely as means of the rule of capital itself) are mere results of the production process, the products of the production process. This is exactly the same relation in the sphere of material production, in the real social life process — for this is the production process — as is represented by religion in the ideological sphere: the inversion of the subject into the object and vice versa. Looked at historically this inversion appears as the point of entry necessary in order to enforce, at the expense of the majority, the creation of wealth as such, i.e. the ruthless productive powers of social labour, which alone can form the material basis for a free human society. It is necessary to pass through this antagonistic form, just as man had first to shape his spiritual forces in a religious form, as powers independent of him.[219] It is the alienation process of his own labour. To that extent, the worker here stands higher than the capitalist from the outset, in that the latter is rooted in that alienation process and finds in it his absolute satisfaction, whereas the worker, as its victim, stands from the outset in a relation of rebellion towards it and perceives it as a process of enslavement. To the extent that the production process is at the same time a real labour process, and the capitalist has to perform the function of supervision and direction in actual production, his activity [467] in fact obtains thereby a specific, manifold content. But the labour process itself only appears as a means to the valorisation process, just as the use value of the product only appears as the vehicle of its exchange value. The self-valorisation of capital — the creation of surplus value — is therefore the determining, dominating, and overmastering purpose of the capitalist, the absolute driving force and content of his action, in fact only the rationalised drive and purpose of the hoarder. This is an utterly miserable and abstract content, which makes the capitalist appear as just as much under the yoke of the capital-relation as is the worker at the opposite extreme, even if from a different angle.

 

 

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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