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Alienated Production

November 24, 2009

[Cross-posted at Reading the Spectacle]

Child labor
This child is not making a soccer ball for himself. He is making a commodity of a thousand soccer balls. Somewhere along the line he may have the opportunity to own or play with one of these balls, but he only benefits from a very small portion of the value of his surplus production. Most of these soccer balls will be utilized by the children of other alienated workers in far away lands.

“[A]lienated consumption has become just as much a duty for the masses as alienated production. The society’s entire sold labor has become a total commodity whose constant turnover must be maintained at all cost. To accomplish this, this total commodity has to be returned in fragmented form to fragmented individuals who are completely cut off from the overall operation of the productive forces.”

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