Dialectics of labour


In Capital, Marx states that: ‘labour undergoes’, ‘constantly’ a ‘transformation: from being motion, it becomes an object without motion; from being the labourer working it becomes the thing produced.’ ‘The act’ of labour is then ‘represented by a definite quantity’ of physical (or non physical) commodity and a ‘definite quantity of labour’. From this alone there can be drawn a dialectic of labour, but this dialectic must be seen in the context of, among other things, the socioeconomics of Marx’s transformation problem and its search for a general rule by which ‘values’ (formed by socially necessary labour content) transform into competitive prices/expressions of exchange values in markets, it's the search for a rule by which in these values can be seen to work in accordance with how modes of production organise to produce and how ‘prices’ are practically manifested.

Central to the transformation problem, which incorporates the three aggregate equalities in price, the organic concentration of capital and theories of average rates of profit, is the notion of dead labour and living labour. Joseph Choonara defines this succinctly:

‘For Marx the value of a commodity reflects the amount of “living labour” expended by workers in its creation, plus the amount of “dead labour”—past labour crystallised in the instruments of production, raw materials, etc. —used up in its production.’

Living labour is then active labour, it transforms, enacts, reacts, it is subject. It is the hours, the skill, the dedication involved in the labour process (under the average conditions of production with the average equipment) –it is one with the natural, subjective powers of man, one with humanity’s ability to subjectively objectify intention (alas it is wholly hegemonised by bourgeois relations of production and somewhat deadened by them, however, this is not central to the dialectic; it is its socioeconomic context). Living labour is the aspect of labour from which exchange value and surplus value arise since it is the dynamistic, temporal aspect of labour, as Choonara explains:

‘…living labour… has a double value. The capitalist receives a day’s labour, but only has to pay enough, in the form of a day’s wages, for the reproduction of the labour power. Because the wage merely reflects the amount of value needed to get the worker back to work, and raise the next generation of workers, it will tend to be less than the new value the worker creates. The remaining hours create “surplus value” for the capitalist, and this is the basis of profit. The rate of profit is the ratio of surplus value to the total capital advanced in wages and inputs of dead labour.’

Dead labour is naturally the binary opposite: it is the dead, fossilised crystallisation of past labour in the raw materials of final commodities, in the tools, machinery and any other prerequisites to commodity creation (e.g. the dead labour in the money used to purchase the raw materials or in the extraction of the raw materials from their natural origin), it is object not subject, it is enacted upon, it is without living skill, thought or dedication (any of this has already been enacted). It is dead, lifeless, merely, arguably, an irritating prerequisite to value. It creates value like living labour but it is use value, rather, it is not commodity use value so much as use value in the labour process that is created by dead labour i.e. the use value of a particular raw material or tool. Any use value formed by dead labour in the finished commodity comes from this, as, other than this dead labour is inimical to economic value because it is a cost to be paid to allow physical creation (and commodity use value creation) and exchange and surplus value formation. Generally speaking, key to the living labour and dead labour of the transformation problem is their relation to value formation, this must naturally become an important part of the dialectic.

The dialectic however, is not drawn from this aspect of the transformation problem alone; there is also abstract and concrete labour to consider:

Concrete labour creates use value and abstract labour creates exchange value. It is abstract labour we shall focus on here as it is seen in relation to value form, social value and the market exchange process as a whole: the economic exchange which relates, values, commensurates, reduces to a common measure and proportionates the quality(s) of the labour enacted on an object. This economic exchange which abstract labour is intrinsically linked with is an abstraction by its very definition in that it abstracts use value and concrete labour with symbolic representations of labour and value: monetary embodiments of values. Specific qualities of concrete labour, specific labour times, specific use values are abstracted symbolically with different monetary expressions of their exchange values: with different prices. Even without capitalist economic contradictions, the monetary exchange of ‘every quality for every other’ and the strange abstraction of labour with exchange values and monetary, symbolic expressions of them, there would still exist abstract labour because it is the aspect of labour that attributes social value, it is the facet of labour that attributes value that isn’t monetary
or use-value-based (spiritual, personal or aesthetic value?) and it is the aspect of labour that is non-specific and dynamistic -which is necessary for human production and creativity.

In a quite separate context, that of capitalist alienation, abstract labour is associated with labour becoming apart from a workers’ personality (by nature it is the opposite: a personal, creative objectification of intention) –something they do merely to maintain their existences rather than because they can enjoy the natural objectification of their own creative, subject ideas and thoughts. Abstract labour in this sense doesn’t necessarily say anything about the worker as an individual; rather they may become dominated by the identity of the labour rather than the labour being a part of their identity. Capitalism, its basic economic relations and its subsequent superstructure
abstract labour and humanity from each other. With this abstraction and the division of labour producing homogenised groups of workers with an average skill level and interchangeable, generalised labour roles, a ‘job’ becomes an abstraction, a tedious life-function. It is a capitalistic abstraction.

The link between the transformation problem and abstract labour is rarely drawn but in terms of (exchange) value formation there is a clear link between the living labour-dead labour aspect of the transformation problem and abstract labour-concrete labour, as Christopher J. Arthur suggests:

‘In effect, abstract labour as a form-determination of the living labour of the wage worker and abstract labour as the dead labour objectified in a commodity are the same thing, in the one case looked at as activity, in the other as its result.

The key difference then is that abstract labour is a more general thing that has a broad temporal effect on labour, value and society and is more seen in the ‘
result’ of socially necessary labour and the economic value processes that ensue, whilst living labour is a specific chronological part of the labour process that is seen more as an ‘activity’. Abstract labour can be seen in dead labour: in the economic proportionation of labour quality in finished commodities, in symbolic monetary abstraction, in alienation etc. whilst living labour is the actual labour ‘expended by workers in creation’ (Choonara).

These movements from activity to result and result to activity are central to the dialectic of labour. There is an overwhelming sense of movement from abstract to concrete building up, a sense of exchange and use, of subject and object, of action and stasis: a sense of life and death: all of these things strongly suggest a powerful dialectic but what about the actual labour process, not as a conceptual entity but as a material process? –The material physical and non-physical processes the worker and the objects engage in. Surely a materialistic dialectic must arise from the material, chemical, situational, physical events as well as from value-processes, from abstraction and concretisation? Thus there is more to uncover to fully realise the dialectic of labour.

Quality is of course something’s character, its category, its ontological definiteness. Quantity is naturally the reverse: it is an entity’s amount, its number, but it is defined as quantity only so far as it does not change the quality. These two opposing and interlinking notions are part of a Hegelian dialectic themselves (-Quality, Quantity and Measure) and form vital parts of general dialectical theory. Quality and quantity however have more specific roles to play in the dialectic of labour relating to abstract quality and concrete quantity and to the movements between quality and quantity in labour processes.

In the labour process, quality and quantity are necessarily interlinked as Engels points out:


‘All qualitative differences in nature rest on differences of chemical composition or on different quantities or forms of motion (energy) or, as is almost always the case, on both. Hence it is impossible to alter the quality of a body without addition or subtraction of matter or motion, i.e. without quantitative alteration of the body concerned. In this form, therefore, Hegel's mysterious principle appears not only quite rational but even rather obvious… But what is the position in regard to change of form of motion, or so-called energy? If we change heat into mechanical motion or vice versa, is not the quality altered while the quantity remains the same? Quite correct. But… change of form of motion is always a process that takes place between at least two bodies, of which one loses a definite quantity of motion of one quality (e.g. heat), while the other gains a corresponding quantity of motion of another quality (mechanical motion, electricity, chemical decomposition). Here, therefore, quantity and quality mutually correspond to each other. So far it has not been found possible to convert motion from one form to another inside a single isolated body.’

Though, as Engels states here, there is always a dialectical exchange of quantity and quality in any movement where one entity gains an aspect of quality and the other an aspect of quantity and visa versa, there is the sense that quality has more to do with motion than quantity: if one continually moved one’s arm up and down there is naturally motion of a specific quality and a specific quantity but its quantitativeness is not central to its being, rather the nature of the movement: that of the arm moving up and down -and not the number of movements of the arm, that is the aspect of agency of the action –this is what is noticeable and what can enact changes on other entities. Furthermore, if the arm moves to pick something up, it is the quality of the movement: that is, the motion of picking something up, which is key. If the arm continued to pick things up for hours, even years, it would still have the same quality as an arm and as a movement –only when the arm picks up too many things or things too heavy for the arm to tolerate over a prolonged amount of time, that it may become deformed enough for the arm to cease to be used as it was before, is there a major enough quantitative change (of chemical or biological composition, e.g.: number of cells damaged by excessive strain) that enacts a qualitative change. A common example of the transformation from quality to quantity and visa versa is: if a book has only 150 pages it is as much of a book as one of 170 or 200 pages. The quality remains basically the same. The quantitative change that changes its quality is when the point is reached when the book is reduced to 1 or 2 pages. At this point the book is no longer a book. In even this simple example one can see, as with the example of the moving arm, that there is great potential for movement, change and dynamism within quality of action and qualitative specificity of motion. In the labour process there is naturally a transformation from quantity to quality and visa versa in sense of motion but also in sense that a worker continually moulds a (physical or non-physical) raw material (and any dead labour embodied in it) until the point at which there is a qualitative change reached through a series of changes in quantity: this changes the quality of raw material into quality of the finished good. In this labour process though, the dynamism is found in the quality –the specific kind of motion or activity, in the sometimes abstract ontological, qualitative definiteness of the movement, in the subjectivity of a chosen/specific type of action, in the vast range of possibilities found within a broad quality where many quantitative changes may occur before the object of labour/movement is qualitatively changed. Though quantitative changes may be seen to be the areas that ultimately, materially change the quality and thus the totality of the object’s ontology, they are in some ways abstract measurements, computations or mensurations when existing, necessarily, merely as perceptions/recordings by humans -even though they most definitely exist within the qualitative temporal continuum of motion, labour and change. Quantity in the labour process is not a dynamistic, palpable thing as qualitative acts of labour are, it often consists of points at which the quantity is changed to a degree which does not necessarily merit a qualitative redefinition or even a noticeable change. It is often only a result of action in the continuum of a labour process, whereas, contrastingly, quality defines action. Quality suggests the subject in that one may chose the kind of labour they do and the quantity is then an objective outcome of pre-existing factors, of dead labour and of subjective actions. Lastly, in the context of dialectics of labour, the notion of quality as the kind of action, the ontological definiteness of an action or object within labour, suggests the abstract (thesis), in that it is broad, encompassing many quantities, it is open and inclusive but abstractly in need of dialectical resolution in that it cannot exist independently of quantity where it must be physically or non-physically embodied and it has certain quantitative limits. Quantity, on the other hand, suggests a move toward the concrete in that it is certain, it is numerical, it is, obviously, the element of the process that changes the quality: it is the measurable element. In some aspects of the labour process, specifically, it is a concretisation of quality, in that quality –or the ‘whatness’ of a thing, finds a new and specified quantity to be embodied in. In the dialectic of labour, quantity is dialectical concretisation of abstract processes: it is material finality. With the finished commodity there is embedded, as Marx puts it, a ‘definite quantity of (substance)’ and ‘a definite quantity of labour’. In quantity, from labour, the commodity has concretised and finalised both substance and labour.

Still, even with the inclusion of quality and quantity, the dialectic is not complete. To talk of labour as a social or economic entity dialectically one must consider the dialectical interplay between exchange and use values themselves. Exchange is, to talk dialectically, abstract: in the sense of abstract, abstracted labour and abstracted, symbolic prices as discussed earlier -but also in the sense that exchange value does not exist intransitively (in a material or physical sense), it only becomes material situationally. In this sense it is negated by use value as an antithesis because an exchange value can only exist when manifested within a use value –this appears to negate exchange value as a separate entity but this in turn is negated in dialectical synthesis when it is seen that exchange value
does exist in material economic circumstances –forming real material prices (expressions of the exchange) that are paid, forming entire societal processes and market structures and is separate from active use values in these senses but still is only ever embodied in them. This relationship is comparable to the dialectical relationship between quality and quantity in that a quality can only ever exist embodied in a certain quantity and thus is arguably abstract without it, requiring an antithesis of quantity, which is then in turn negated in synthesis of Measure, of quality and quantity united.

In the context of practical, physical, material labour in the dialectic it is interesting to consider the manufacturing three classes of inventory because of their triadic, quasi-dialectical structure:

“Raw materials inventory: Raw material is the basic material that is processed and converted into finished goods. The cost incurred to obtain raw materials that have not yet been placed into production is reported as raw materials inventory in the current assets section of the balance sheet. Examples of raw materials include wood for the manufacturers of cricket bat and steel for the manufacturers of cars.
Work-in-process inventory: The units that remain incomplete at the end of a period are known as work-in-process inventory. These units need the addition of more materials, labour or manufacturing overhead to be completed in the coming period. Like raw materials, work-in-process inventory is reported in the current assets section of the balance sheet.
Finished goods inventory: Finished goods are completed but unsold goods. The total cost incurred to complete these unsold goods are reported as finished goods inventory along with raw materials and work-in-process inventory in the current assets section of the balance sheet.”

These inventory classes have more to do with dead labour and stock/good quantity than the entire dialectic as discussed thus far but they do communicate a sense of dead labour and living labour (the latter in the work-in-process inventory) of unfinished (abstract) to finished (concrete) and of exchange and use: they suggest dialectical movement.

After examining all this material: the transformation problem, quality and quantity etc. some dialectical patterns become apparent: these patterns are listed in an order from abstract to concrete:

-Exchange is abstract without use and is at first negated by use as a dialectical antithesis, just as quality is abstract without quantity and is at first negated by this fact, just as abstract labour is nonexistent without concrete labour and is at first negated as an independent entity by this fact. (Key, dialectically, is the fact that these antitheses are negated themselves (negation of negation) in that both entities are found to exist.)
-Living labour and quality (it is qualities which exchange is built upon, which are fundamentals: quantities are variable) are associated with exchange and symbolic value (not price).
-Living labour is associated with skill, particularity, devotion and time just as quality is associated with specificity and type of motion (not the dead numerical measurements of quantity).
-Living labour creates exchange value: abstract labour creates exchange value.
-Abstract labour and exchange commensurate and proportionate labour quality whilst quantity and concrete labour concretise and finalise it.
-Abstract labour, living labour and to an extent quality are dynamistic whilst dead labour and, to an extent, quantity are static.
-Abstract labour, living labour and, to a lesser extent, quality, are associated with subjective thought, non-monetary, non-exchange value, social value, specificity/particularity, skill, devotion, the subject and temporality whilst dead labour and quantity to a lesser extent are associated with stasis, spatiality and the object. (There is confusion here and elsewhere because specificity/particularity applies to both quality and quantity but with quality it is a kind of subject specificity and one of action and/or whatness whilst with quantity it is a concrete, numerical kind of specificity. The same problem arises with abstract and concrete labour and living labour and dead labour in that there is an abstract but subject kind of specificity with abstract labour and an actual concrete, practical specificity with concrete labour, there is a dynamistic specificity with living labour and a static, concrete specificity with dead labour.)
-Abstraction and concretisation both have their positives and negatives: abstract labour is the aspect of labour that includes subjectivity, expression, personality, social value, non-monetary value, personal value but it is also the aspect of labour that causes alienation. Similarly living labour is the aspect of labour that includes skill, dedication, dynamism, subjectivity but it is fully hegemonised and brutalised by the capitalist relations of production and it is the very aspect of labour that surplus value is extracted from. Simultaneously, concrete labour and dead labour provide stability, concretisation, usefulness and resources; they also suggest a lack of dynamism even entrapment and commodity fetishism (in the capitalistic economic context).
-Abstract labour and living labour are unfinished whilst dead labour is a result of active labour, albeit to be altered further by more labour.
-Abstract labour and living labour create surplus value (whilst concrete and dead labour create the use values). (Living labour creates surplus value in the way illustrated by Choonara: ‘…living labour… has a double value. The capitalist receives a day’s labour, but only has to pay enough, in the form of a day’s wages, for the reproduction of the labour power. Because the wage merely reflects the amount of value needed to get the worker back to work, and raise the next generation of workers, it will tend to be less than the new value the worker creates. The remaining hours create “surplus value” for the capitalist…’
-There are some links between the work-in-process inventory and living labour.

-Living labour and quality, to some extent, are subject. Dead labour and quantity, to some extent, are object.
-Quality, abstract labour and living labour contain elements of the abstract. Quantity, concrete labour and dead labour contain elements of the concrete (–though there is of course overlaps in most of these instances, e.g. living labour and concrete labour share a sense of concrete specificity of action which creates both exchange and use value separately. Concrete labour is about process where dead labour is not and thus concrete labour contains some more abstract qualities etc.)

-Dead labour creates pre-commodity use value and concrete labour creates all kinds of use value.
-Dead labour and quantity are associated with
the concrete, numerical prices and costs in the manufacturing inventory classes
-Concrete labour and dead labour create use value. They are concrete. (There is a confusion here in that concrete labour can have the subjective and particular qualities that abstract labour and living labour posses because it is merely the specific kind of labour being done and creating use values not the abstract, exchange and surplus value forming aspect of the labour, whilst dead labour cannot. Concrete labour may be subject, dead labour cannot.)
-There are some links between the raw-materials inventory and dead labour.
-There are some links between the finished-goods inventory and dead labour but there are also other, less obvious connotations of the finished goods inventory, which suggest a dialectical synthesis for labour.

All of these findings, correlations and patterns may be placed within a dialectic (which arises as a synthesis in itself of all of these different elements,; the transformation problem, abstract and concrete labour etc.) on a scale going from abstract to concrete, from thesis, through antithesis, ending with a synthesis. To briefly conclude I shall sum up each part of the dialectic using the dialectical patterns found above:

A common quality of abstract features of these findings is: motion. This will form a central part of the abstract thesis of the dialectic. There is also the type of value formation that is more in line with the abstract: exchange and surplus value from living labour (of the transformation problem and the conversion of value into price) and abstract labour. Then there is quantity and quality to consider; quality has more qualities that could be considered abstract and dynamistic than quantity. Aside from this there is the slightly less central element of the social implications of the abstract thesis of labour: alienation from labour, the product and the self. The thesis is dynamistic as quality and living labour are and it forms all value that is not practical use value: the thesis forms exchange value, surplus value, it is part of what moves values into prices and it produces non-capitalistic value: social value, personal value, even creative value. The thesis is subject and subjective: it is fluid, changeable, abstract, dynamistic, live and powerful. Together with this, the work-in-process part of the thesis suggests a more obvious kind of abstraction, a more pronounced sense of process, motion and unconcludedness. Thus the abstract thesis of motion where the labour, in its doing, in its action, is yet unformed, unembodied, undefined, unrefined –even if it is specifically directed it cannot be made concrete, clarified, specified or whole (until it is ended and a specific concrete change is enacted on a material by which point the motion will be made motionless). This links with the abstract notion of quality and quantity in that the thesis has a quality: a vague kind of ontological classification but no realised or specified quantity until the moment that the motion if finished and a quantitative change is enacted.

The antithesis, then, is one of motionlessness. The motionlessness which is definite and is the material on which a change has been enacted or which has been created from other materials. This object is dead and without any vitality and it represents a definite quantity of physical material as well as a definite quantity of the labour enacted on it, it is also the concretisation of a new quality. The type of value formation that is more in line with
the concrete or the Hegelian Negative is use value from concrete labour and dead labour. Dead labour has more to do with this antithesis than concrete labour as concrete labour is also part of the in-motion part of the labour process, but still: concrete labour’s concretisation of intention and the abstract, its concrete specificity, its creation of use values is relevant to this dialectical antithesis. Dead labour’s lifelessness and stasis is more obviously central to this antithesis. In terms of value formation: both dead labour (as a prerequisite and a commodity ingredient) and concrete labour (the specified action on the particular substance) are necessary. Where the thesis is about abstract value, the antithesis possesses specific value. The antithesis negates the dynamism of the thesis with its stasis and material certainty. In terms of quantity and quality, quantity is more central to the antithesis as it can be a concretisation of quality and at first negates quality as an independent entity by its being necessary to embody a quality. Quantity is numerical, certain and closed, not boundless and abstract like quality. The social implications of this antithesis, which are less obvious than those of abstract labour and living labour are thus: commodity fetishism in the finality and power of the finished commodity which does not work with human user or even for it: the human becomes reified, object in the presence of the commodity’s subjectivity. Added to this there is the implication of entrapment: of the object in its materiality, of the human in the fetishisation of the commodity: which is the basis for an economic suggestion of wider entrapment and incarceration. The fetishisation of the finished good is part of a wider capitalistic process of objectifying, degrading, impoverishing, dividing, racialising, brutalising, alienating and reifiying the proletariat which leads to despondency, depression, violence, addiction and naturally: socioeconomic and political resistance. The political, judiciary response of the bourgeoisie and its superstructure to this resistance, addiction, violence etc. is incarceration. Thus the finished good is incarcerated in its own materiality and the human is trapped in its objectivity and this often translates into physical incarceration.

This motionlessness is again to be negated: this is the dialectical synthesis, which is the most difficult part of this dialectic and is in its own way, dialectically abstract again (and thus, naturally, in need of further negation). First of all it must be said that the synthesis is concretisation and a fusing of everything, of all dialectically opposed elements of labour. It is dead labour and living labour in one, it is abstract labour and concrete labour in one, it is quality and quantity in one: it arguable shares qualities with Measure, it is the entire process in one, realised, absolute form. It is the negation of the negation of the existence of the inital, abstract qualities: e.g. both exchange and use values are found to exist independently of each other even though exchange value can only ever be embodied within a certain use value. This necessity does not truly negate exchange’s independent existence as it first appears to because exchange value can be empirically observed to have impacts independent of use value’s empirical impacts -even though exchange value is only ever seen within a singular, particular use value. The synthesis also takes into account all the contradictions within single sections of the dialectic e.g. abstraction (in labour) is freeing and dynamistic but also, in another context, alienating. In the context of the manufacturing inventory classes, the finished goods inventory relates mostly to dead labour and the antithesis of motionlessness but still, the notion of the ‘total cost incurred to complete these unsold goods reported as finished goods inventory along with raw materials and work-in-process inventory in the current assets section of the balance sheet’ suggests a synthesis of the entire practical process, economically. It also suggests the necessity of the good to go onto to integrate socially and go beyond its materiality in that the good is ‘unsold’ which suggests a need for it to be ‘sold’ and thus used. This brings us onto a crucial part of the synthesis: sociality. To be concretised as a process and as an object, the object of labour needs to continue to break its material, physical chains; to be used, appropriated and socialised. Societally, there is not currently real, tangible dialectical synthesis of labour as there is with the thesis (alienation) etc. other than a mixing of the two social implications thus far. A true dialectical synthesis of labour will only be realised when relations of production and of labour change, when the alienation and, crucially, the entrapment, brutalisation and reification with the current relations of production and the subsequent superstructure that capitalism necessitate, come to end -then the synthesis will be
fully concrete, fully absolute. Humanity will be once again subjectified, objects of labour shall be fully socialised and socially useful and man and object will work together harmoniously. Abstraction shall become a joy and freed of alienation when capital is crushed and the socioeconomic need for alienation vanishes. Lastly, this almighty synthesis will be free of commodity fetishism: instead of the current, unhealthy relationship between man and commodity where the commodity reigns supreme and subject, the human shall be the master of his own destiny, his own actions, his own identity, his hands’ own creations, and live in harmony with the raw materials of the nature.

To return to the main, current synthesis: stasis of the antithesis requires this further concretisation in the synthesis because, although the antithesis is the concretisation of an action in physical (or non physical e.g. mental) terms, it is too dead in its static physicality to be of any material use or value beyond its immediate materiality and has within it no intrinsic social quality other than its physicality and materiality, more than that, much of the logic of the inert, static antithesis becomes literally negated when the object interacts with the external world, much of the logic of the antithesis (e.g. the negation of exchange) become, also, in turn, negated. The object requires the appropriation or use by the exterior world and specifically people, for completion. In this process the object of labour reaches a concrete, absolute, whole synthesis of completion. In this finished object there is, as Marx puts it when talking of surplus value, ‘past, materialised (now) dead’ labour as well as living labour, ‘dead substance’ as well as living, actual substance. This synthesis of the finished, social object is now, as Marx puts it, a ‘live monster that is fruitful and multiplies.’ It is an entity which, in a capitalistic context, is now fully fetishised (beyond the static fetishisation of the antithesis) in that it has its own power, its own subjectivity, its own individuality, its own personality and can go on to affect the outer world and ‘multiply’ (and in a communistic context the fetishisation will disappear entirely). Embodied in this object is all of the dead labour which bought it into being: e.g.: the labour of the acquiring of the raw material, the labour in the making of the money used to acquire it or in the making of the machine which made the money, the labour of the transportation of the raw material and the living labour of the creating of the specific product of the labour. Embodied within the object is the use value of the object and the exchange value, the exchange processes it has already been through and may well still go through. This final object contains all this labour within it as well as all of these substances, reactions, processes and has living potential for further use and appropriation and for further chemical change –it lives and moves and is full of dynamism.