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Caderno CRH

versão impressa ISSN 0103-4979


HUWS, Ursula Elin. Living, labour and value in the XXIST century: unpicking the knot. Cad. CRH [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.70, pp.13-30. ISSN 0103-4979.

It is often argued that Marx's labour theory of value no longer applies in the contemporary world in which increasing proportions of the population are involved in "immaterial" or "digital" labour. This article contends that the theory is still relevant, but that in order to understand how it can be applied both to immaterial labour and to labour more generally, it is necessary to examine critically the three key components of the theory: the particular nature of any given form of labour, the value that is created by that labour, and the worker's means of subsistence. Such an analysis enables us not only to distinguish between "necessary labour time" and surplus value but also to identify the point of production. In a world in which new activities are constantly being brought within the sphere of capitalist social relations and new commodities are being produced, it is important to identify these points of production and the workers who are directly engaged in the production of surplus value because it is these workers who have the potential, by withdrawing their consent, to organise effectively in the common interests of the global working class.

Palavras-chave : labour theory of value; immaterial labour; commodification; monetisation of the Internet; labour; digital labour; productive and unproductive labour.

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