More Leisure is our species essence ( See "The Original Affluent Society" by Marshall Sahlins). Foraging is a mode of direct appropriation from nature , not a mode of production; making a living by gigging smart not working hard. It was not that bi-pedalism and the origin of hands originated a new labor that caused the invention of tradition , names and words . The invention of culture and language in childcare by mothers expanded to making a living transitioned labor by making it smarter, wiser, because of accumulation of knowledge over many generations . More leisure gives more time to think and thereby work even smarter. Engels is wrong on this in "The Role of Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man" when he says "First labour, after it and then with it speech ..." First long childcare then names and speech , then a transition to LESS labour, smarter labour and more leisure as compared with primate ancestor species .
That's Societas , 2.5 million years ago to 6,000 years ago with the beginning of Civitas, private property, greed , slavery and heavy labor. Hard work , work ethic, then comes to dominate cultural ideals. So, hard labour is not species-being , but civilization-being, a small fraction of the full time of our species history.
Nonetheless , Marx and Engels do propose transition from the Kingdom of Necessity to the Kingdom of Freedom . Freedom is Leisure and smart work through technology . Jobs lost to technological invention should be translated into more leisure time for the masses, a May Day demand.
[Marxism-Thaxis] The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man
c b Thu, 27 May 2010 05:54:49 -0700
What about the transition in labor in the transition from ape to man ?
This essay uses "labor" in the sense that it is something that apes
do. So, it is not the "labor" ( or is it work ?) that produces
capitalist surplus value in _Capital_I, but the more general labor
that Marx describes in Chapter so and so , where he says the
difference between the labor of spiders and bees and that of man is
imagining the project as a plan first ( this implies that spiders and
So, the implication is that in the transition from ape to man, labor
transitioned in part by taking on more mental labor, imagination and
planning , as a component.
The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man
Engels: But the decisive step had been taken, the hand had become free and could henceforth attain ever greater dexterity; the greater flexibility thus acquired was inherited and increased from generation to generation.
^^^^^ CB: Ahhh but how ? How did the experience of repetition of use of _a_ hand by one individual get transferred to the brains of the next generation and the next , become the experience of _The_ hand ? If Patriarch uses his hands thousands of times his increasing dexterity is based on accumulated experience in that one individual's brain. The next generation's brains goes back to "square one" at birth and childhood . The only way to accumulate the knowledge across generations is by mediating the learning experience with language, imagination. The only way to "stand on the shoulders of giants" is to receive messages from them through a system of symbols. ( as in those days there wasn't the technology to take enough pictures) "The" hand is not the hand of an individual, but The Hand, as a concept, an organi of the species.
someone says : "Charles Brown We marxists regards Frederic Angels' essay "The part played by Labour in the transition of ape to Man. I think, here Angels accepted the evelusiony theory of Lamark. Now we know that acquired characterstics can not be transmiled genetically. Darvinian theory was put forward lately. l Know that "The origin of species" was highly considered by Angels when it was published. So the former book of him should be considered in this light. I like to here your opinion. CB: Velayudhan Pantheerankave I literally thought yesterday to write that Engels was probably putting forth a LaMarckian theory in “ The Role of Labor in the Translation from Ape to Man.” My first post here was a critique of that essay, but I did not include the thought that he was LaMarkian.