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Book proposal: Marx’s Fetters and the Realm of Freedom: a remedial reading — part 2.4

Summary:
Alienated labour and disposable timeMarx’s remarkable, yet largely neglected statement that “[t]he whole development of wealth rests on the creation of disposable time” and his subsequent analysis of the relationship between disposable time, superfluous products, and surplus value suggests an alternative analysis of alienation that identifies disposable time itself as that which is appropriated and confronts the labourer as alien property. Marx came close to making such an analysis explicit in a footnote that begins, “It does not belong here, but can already be recalled here…” and in which he noted “In relation to the whole of society, the creation of disposable time is then also creation of time for the production of science, art etc.,” anticipating his advocacy in notebook VII of, “the

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 Alienated labour and disposable time

Marx’s remarkable, yet largely neglected statement that “[t]he whole development of wealth rests on the creation of disposable time” and his subsequent analysis of the relationship between disposable time, superfluous products, and surplus value suggests an alternative analysis of alienation that identifies disposable time itself as that which is appropriated and confronts the labourer as alien property. Marx came close to making such an analysis explicit in a footnote that begins, “It does not belong here, but can already be recalled here…” and in which he noted “In relation to the whole of society, the creation of disposable time is then also creation of time for the production of science, art etc.,” anticipating his advocacy in notebook VII of, “the general reduction of the necessary labour to a minimum, which then corresponds to the artistic, scientific etc. development of the individuals in the time set free.” Disposable time is thus not an empty container to be filled with “pseudo-activities,” to use Adorno’s phrase, but the foundation for the full cultural, intellectual, physiological, and spiritual development of the individual.


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