Capital and Retail

Dear Professor Wolff, Thank you for everything you've done to advance the socialist cause. I was hoping you could cover how retailers fit within the capitalist mode of production. I know in the past you've discussed how companies like Wal-Mart survive off the surplus product of the labor that takes place within their manufacturers. What does this mean for retail workers within places like Wal-Mart, Macy's, and Target? Are they not "creating value" in the same way that a manufacturer is? I am currently reading Capital and trying to understand productive and "unproductive" labor. Could you talk about this distinction and the importance of "unproductive labor" in the capitalist system? Would this labor be necessary within a socialist system? Thank you Tony


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  • published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-11-16 12:21:37 -0500

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