On Mill’s Fourth Proposition

  • R. D. Collison Black


We will discuss Mill’s 4th proposition, not because I believe in it myself, but because other people do; and because it forms a kind of exercise in following out the nature of capital. This proposition is to the effect that what supports and employs productive labour is the capital expended in setting it to work and not the demand of purchasers for the produce of labour when completed. Or, as he more briefly and distinctly expresses it: “demand for commodities is not demand for labour”.1 The demand for commodities, he says, determines the direction of industry but not the more or less of the labour itself.


Productive Labour Material Wealth Capitalist Mode Regular Trade Unproductive Consumption 


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Copyright information

© R. D. Collison Black and Rosamond Könekamp 1977

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  • R. D. Collison Black

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