Critique of the Gotha Program

Doesn't Marx say commodity production is present in the initial stage of socialism in Critique of the Gotha Program?

"What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations,but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society – after the deductions have been made – exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor.For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual
labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he
has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.

Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can
pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. But as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal
amount of labor in another form.

Hence, equal right here is still in principle – bourgeois right, although principle and practice are no longer at loggerheads, while the exchange of equivalents in commodity exchange exists only on the
average and not in the individual case."

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The quote about the principle of commodity exchange is dealt with in this essay, ctrl+f it:


No, he actually says the exact opposite.

Look at your quote:
If we did have an exchange of commodities, that would be one absurd thing to say.

That essay isn't good. Tsushima quotes with approval the statement of some commie group claiming abstract labor being a historical category. He disagrees with Itsurō Sakisaka who brings up Robinson Crusoe, Tsushima fails to come up with a convincing rebuttal to that. Note that the reference to Robinson Crusoe is actually a reference to Marx. I urge you to go to and ctrl+f Robinson, and just read the four paragraphs.
It's a mystery by what thinking process, if any, Tsushima arrived at that position. People do have a generic ability to work, and people who are skilled are usually only skilled at a tiny subset of tasks and when it comes to the doctor plucking apples or whatever his abilities are just like that of any other random asshole. A person doing task A does at the same time NOT do task B, C, D, and so on, and it makes sense to reckon with that as a sort of opportunity cost, whether you have capitalism or shmapitalism. Tsushima:
Indeed, and with Tsushima admitting that, he really has nothing to talk about.
Non sequitur. Leftcoms confirmed brainlets. It does not follow at all from a change in the distribution mechanisms that people will stop planning with abstract labor time, and Tsushima doesn't even try to come up with a reason. (His comment at the end that Sakisaka literally inverted a statement by Marx about unequal contribution is right though.)

This is reasoning about concrete labour.

Read the sentence right before the one you quote.

I did. So?

The person qualified to be a doctor becomes a generic person for 99.9 % of tasks he could be assigned to. And individually different people become a generic mass when you plan in big aggregates and long-term (meaning the planning horizon includes people obtaining qualifications). At that level of planning, you still have abstract labor, as the people Tsushima impotently tries to argue against are saying.

No you have what could be called "abstract workers".

Abstract labour is when you consider only the labour time, not its purpose.

Nobody ever anywhere ever really has only considered labour time, so you might as well say then that you never have abstract labour anywhere. But that's not what abstract labour is. It is a generic potential ability to work, and in capitalism, it is manifested in what Marx calls value. But it is not the same as value and does not only exist in capitalism, contra Tsushima.

Everyone does, every time trade occurs.

Yes it is. Read Capital, chapter 1.

No, the potential ability to work is called labour power. Again, read Capital. The distinction between labour and labour power is at the heart of Marx's theory of exploitation.

Abstract labour existed before capitalism, became dominant with capitalism, and will disappear with it.

Mate, I've already read that, and in German to boot.
>>abstract labour is a generic potential ability to work
>No, the potential ability to work is called labour power.
Your individual labour power is what you sell, and this does include your special skills (if you have them). Abstract labour as defined above is a different concept.
Could you make an actual argument for that?

That's why I removed the "generic". "Generic potential ability to work" is simply… generic labour power, not abstract labour. Like you said:

You had to change the definition to become able to point out that the changed definition of the term is identical to the meaning of another term. Fascinating.
Difference being what? Note that if you think the difference is that abstract labour is real as a regulator in capitalism whether anybody consciously thinks about the concept or not, you are making the same mistake as Tsushima, who is simultaneously agreeing with and forgetting the actual position of the people he criticizes (the position that abstract labor is a regulator in capitalism is one that everybody Tsushima is attacking already agrees with); in that case you are just stuck in a misunderstanding based on making its regulator role in capitalism part of its definition, against people who have quite explicitly cut that off. So in that case, your silly linguistic problem is resolved if you just put in something like generic human ability to work, when the people Tsushima criticizes talk about abstract labour. (I hope for the sake of your mental health that you don't believe that any concept of generic human ability will disappear after capitalism.)

No genius. I gave you the definition of labour power (in which generic labour power is necessarily included) and how it is different from labour (the definition of which abstract labour is necessarily included in).

The potential ability to work is labour power, not labour. No matter if it is "generic", "specific", "red", "blue", etc., it is still labour power and not labour.

Abstract labour, on the other hand, is labour, not labour power.

It's a whole different concept. Like I said, Marx's abstract labour is labour stripped from all its distinctive qualities, from its actual productive purpose, and in which remains only the quantity: labour time.

Of course not. What will disappear is abstract labour.

As Marx puts it (Critique of the Gotha program, paragraph right before OP's):
No more abstract labour, only concrete one.

Why don't you include the whole quote?

But your labour power is not identical to it.
I have to go to work right now and will write a longer reply later as to what your misunderstanding is.

That sentence is an example of Tsushima pedalling back. He autistically complains about people who basically have the same position as he does.

Who the fuck peddels back /mid-sentance/?

If he decided it was wrong he'd just…take it out of the essay. It's not like it's even relevant, he then goes onto explain his reasoning for the second part of the sentance.

read the bread book

Physically speaking, no individual actually performs abstract labour at a moment in time, what one is doing at a given moment is a concrete activity. When thinking about the big picture it's different, and you can zoom out in two different ways (which can be combined): You can go from a short period to a longer period and consider all the different tasks a person might do, and as you the time-span under consideration longer and longer, more and more tasks come into view as possibilities, including those the person isn't qualified for (yet). You can also zoom out in that you go from a single person to a dozen people, to thousands, to millions; and this human blob is an average human of sorts, in a simple way–average muscle power–and also in a way that people don't usually think of as average, in that the blob (if big enough) has bits of all sorts of specialist skills in it as well.

Abstract averages are something we reckon in when doing statistics. This is not limited to capitalism. We could reckon with aggregates of human abilities when planning the economy. Capitalism can be described like an organism that acts in a way that is independent of the wills of any nice or nasty people that are part of it. The mechanics of capitalism can be described like reflexes of an organism that reacts to the environment. But capitalism doesn't anticipate anything, so if the animal capitalism "reckons" about general abilities and potentials, it doesn't do it by making projections about the future, it only "thinks" by doing, trial and error. So, under capitalism, this category of abstract average ability, is something that is felt via the market mechanism connecting millions of people to become the human blob, this concept is made real through it whether even a single person thinks about it consciously or not.

That this happens under capitalism in an automatic and chaotic way does not logically imply in any way shape or form that capitalism is the only system where this aggregate abstract human potential matters. On the contrary, Marx wrote:

That's nice and all (and perfectly true) but this:
is not what "abstract labour" means in Marx's works.

Once again, this time in your own quote:
Marx stressed out the fact that only the "perfectly simple and intelligible" aspect of labour, aka concrete labour, will remain.

What can be gleaned from this paragraph is that: 1. Marx didn't think of reckoning in labour time as a concept unique to capitalism, 2. Marx didn't think that a mechanism of apportionment of consumer items in accordance to work contributed constitutes capitalism (unlike what some SPGB shills might claim), 3. Marx didn't think that workable estimations of necessary labour time requires a market in capital goods or even the consumption apportionment mechanism mentioned in point 2 (as he wrote, "merely for the sake of a parallel"), contrary to what Austrians and some Marxolologist scholars like Michael Heinrich seem to believe.

>Marx stressed out the fact that only the "perfectly simple and intelligible" aspect of labour, aka concrete labour, will remain.
False. In the potential future scenario Marx described people get back things with work in them in proportion to the work they provided. In that scenario, you do not individually produce all the things you consume, and to speak of a measure of a portion you contribute and getting a share in proportion to that, as Marx did in that paragraph, you need a way of measuring and treating the distinct activities as mere quantities of the same thing.

>>Nobody ever anywhere ever really has only considered labour time
When the leftcom goes to Aldi, he only considers the labour time going into the products…

Nice try genius. Although he considers the use-value of the products, he only considers the labour time going into the money he uses to pay.

You seem to believe a faint imitation of sarcasm makes up for lack of logic. The statement disagreed with was this:
>Nobody ever anywhere ever really has only considered labour time
But of course that statement was correct. Go read and you might actually learn something, Muke.

It isn't since:
My money is just a sum of abstract labour to me (as are the products to Aldo's shareholders). Do you understand.