Read e-book online A Sociology of the Soviet Union PDF

By Gary Littlejohn (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0312740778

ISBN-13: 9780312740771

ISBN-10: 0333294270

ISBN-13: 9780333294277

ISBN-10: 1349173584

ISBN-13: 9781349173587

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Example text

Why should the social organisation of production give rise to fairly systematic variations in the capacities of economic agents because of their relation to the means of production? As we have seen, the classical Marxist answer has been because the relation to the means of production determines the sources of revenue and the associated levels of income and consumption. This could perhaps be criticised on the grounds that production and consumption are interrelated, so that there are no grounds for giving priority to the relation to the means of production as the defining characteristic of classes.

29 effects of other determinants. One possible way round this problem is to treat some determinants as relevant for the purposes of class definition, and others as not relevant. This is what the labour theory of value in effect attempts to do. However, in my view it fails because, in realising that theoretical priority cannot be given to the physical act oflabour and thus in emphasising the social conditions of labour, the labour theory of value 'allows back in' other determinants of the division of labour without a clear specification of their relevance.

In the case of capitalist relations of production, the restrictions on the access to the means of production are effected through the 'control' by some agents of the conditions of commodity exchange. The accumulation or concentration of substantial amounts of money as capital enables the agents in a position to decide how that capital is to be used to become predominant in determining the social distribution of the means of production, and hence the distribution of income, while the capacity of other agents to determine such outcomes is seriously reduced.

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A Sociology of the Soviet Union by Gary Littlejohn (auth.)


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