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By George Novack

Marxism is dialectical, Novack explains. It considers all phenomena of their improvement, of their transition from one kingdom to a different. And it truly is materialist, explaining the area as subject in movement that exists sooner than and independently of human cognizance.

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But this, Marx insists, does not alter the facts of the matter. Either the capitalist, in keeping intact his original investment and thereby claiming to be the rightful owner of the capitalist enterprise (as it has now become), must admit that he has been consuming unproductively surplus value produced by the unpaid labour of others who worked for him during the previous 5 to 10 years, or, if as seems likely he is unwilling to concede this point, he must agree that the money he has been living off during the previous 5 to 10 years (or whatever), that he has consumed unproductively in order to reproduce himself and his family, was a return to him of a sum equivalent in value to his original investment, in which case it is hard to see on what basis he can continue to claim to be the legitimate owner of the process of production in question.

Secondly, there was likely to be a considerable difference in the quality of the labour that the labourers performed for themselves and the quality of the labour that the labourer performed for the landlord, since the labourer could clearly distinguish between labour that they performed for themselves on their own land and the labour they performed for the benefit of the landlord. Thirdly, the labourers would have known exactly what it cost to reproduce themselves and/or their families and exactly which portion of the working week they worked for themselves and which portion they worked for the landlord.

2. COOPERATION AND THE DIVISION OF LABOUR IN CAPITAL, VOL. 1, CH. e. e. the separation of the various parts of the labour process into its constituent parts. However, in so far as manufacturing industry is concerned, Marx argues that these two processes are really just two sides of the same coin, and in fact, Marx actually defines manufacturing as cooperation based on the division of labour (1974a, 343 [1976, 485]). In Chapter 13, Marx looks at various types of simple cooperation which do not involve a sophisticated division of labour; for example, when everyone helps to harvest a crop or dig a canal.

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