Have thought much this week on how—from a quoicapitalist perspective—to address this query.

Here I shall endeavor to pour that stream of thoughts into a thread.

This's gonna be some 35 tweets, all told. There's quite a bit of terrain to cover to address the question posed here.
From quoicapitalist frame, this is less category of valuation than of dispossession.

Childcare represents an exchange of possibility of reproductive-power—distinct from & antecedent to producing value—for possibility of engaging in labor-power exchange.

That is to say, childcare represents a second order relation.

Not the exchange of labor-power in work for wage or other value, but an exchange of power, an exchange of the possibilities of power, for work, itself.

To elucidate this, let's consider material history of childcare.
Under antecapitalist putting-out system, putting out of work to homesteads is preceded by putting out of labor from homesteads, for domestic or apprentice service.

We can thus speak of three sites of labor-power reproduction: homestead, estate, workshop.

We might commonly think of this as worker providing labor in exchange for room, board, and training of some variety.

Comparable to feudal tenancy, where rent is provided to a landlord not only as a share of agricultural production, but also sometimes in the form of corvée labor.
Thus, the labor of a scullery maid or an apprentice cobbler constitutes rent. Yet this isn't simply corvée rent of the feudal tenant in exchange for a place to live. Nor is this yet—historically—the conveyancée tenant-landlord relation of rentier society.

An important consideration here—"a place to live" is not so readily understood as value production as it might at first appear.

What, after all, is "produced" by the provision of "a place" in exchange for rent—agricultural, corvée, monetary or otherwise?

A tenancy relation is generally understood as an exchange for "use and occupancy".

Use, here, is obvious—yet of an already produced good. i.e., "a place" exists and must exist, to be the subject of a tenancy.

Maintenance by landlord represents some production, but on the whole?
From within a strictly capitalist analysis, this would be capital plant and equipment. Yet with respect to the landlord, seen from quoicapitalist frame, unproductive.

It's not a means of production, but rather a means of extraction.

Extraction of rents.

Occupancy, meanwhile, is itself a property relation: the occupant has legal rights to access the property, independent of any use they may make of it, & to control access to the property by others, to allow or deny other occupancy.

This has relevance to the putting-out of labor.
The put-out worker is not merely exchanging labor when they go to live and work at the estate or in the workshop.

In living with their employer, they exchange also their availability to provide labor, even especially care labor, to their own family, in their homestead of origin.
That scullery maid, sequestered in the servants quarters, is not tucking in her own younglings nor looking after elderly aunt who has fallen ill. Her labor-power is unavailable.

Such residual labor-power—unutilized by her employer—is itself sequestered.

Note, however, that this cost is not borne by the worker, as such, but rather by the worker's homestead of origin—our reproductive unit of analysis.

Such sequestered care labor is a loss to the family who do not receive the care the put-out worker otherwise would have provided.
Sequestered labor-power is conveyed by the homestead to the employer, as a form of rent-service.

Rent-service—reciprocation of rent-seeking—is exchange made by household in order to obtain or retain resources relied upon for reproduction of labor-power.

Housing is exemplar of such a resource. So too is relief from myriad consequences of unsatisfied debts. (Debt-service is rent-service.)

By extension, a job—or rather, a source of income—is likewise a resource relied upon for reproduction of labor-power.

Do wage-labor to pay monetary rent? That’s rent-service.

Repeatedly overcome compliancist administrative burdens to re-qualify for housing vouchers? Rent-service.

Affective labor to borrow or fundraise exchange-value rent from family or mutual aid or social media? Rent-service.
Labor relation here is not exploitative—nothing need be produced—but rather extractive.

Moreover, rent-service captures material relations the concept of "cost of living" fails to account for—our accounting is not one of exchange-value, but exchange of reproductive possibility.
Not raising a family of one's own during term of service was typically also a condition of put-out worker arrangements.

Difference between tenancy and put-out labor is stark here: put-out worker has use of a room, but not a right to bring family in to occupy that room with them.
Such asymmetric exchanges of reproductive-power—whether labor-power sequestration or procreative nonoccupancy—under putting-out system of feudal society would, under lumpentheory of today's rentier society, be spoken of as carceral-colonial capturedness.

Carry our history forward: as machine-power continues to improve, putting-out system expands beyond putting out of labor from homesteads to include putting out of work consignments to homesteads. (Cf. gig work.)

This feudal model continues for some time.

Eventually, artisanal workshops can’t keep pace. Industrial revolution has begun; with it, our short trist with capitalist society.

Labor now leaves homestead; must pay exchange-value to third-party landlord, rather than exchange labor for use of a room.

These landlord relations would also place restrictions on occupancy—thus reproductive-power—a legacy that we still grapple with.

Meanwhile, sequestration is itself decoupled from place-to-live, becoming increasingly a rent-service exchanged by worker with non-landlord employers.
Fast-forward to now:

Labor is now exchanged for exchange-value, prestige-value (bankable as prestige-power), job-perks—not only in terms of compensation packages and amenities, but also the ego-value derived from the choices deemed to have lead to a job.

But as in putting-out system, labor is not exchanged alone.

Insofar as work sequesters labor-power, such that unavailable for care, whether on-the-job downtime or commute straddling work hours or door closed while wfh, this is rent-service exchanged between household & employer.
This is cost borne by household on behalf of employer—even for single-occupancy households.

Dishes that sit to weekend to accommodate commute need not be childcare to impact reproduction of labor-power. Ordering takeout to avoid such dishes—likewise rent-service to the employer.
In feudal society, apprentice weaver whose labor-power was sequestered—thus unavailable to chop wood for an elderly uncle back home—would have to rely on multi-generational households and adjacent community to ensure that disabled family member was kept warm through the winter.
In rentier society, knowledge worker stuck in traffic calls to ask if in-law (unpaid labor) or babysitter (wage labor) can stay longer, responsible teen can order pizza, spouse can attend to bath & bedtime even though yes, this was our night to do it.

This too, is rent-service.
That is, childcare, in its outsourced form, is not value production, but rather an exchange of reproductive-power, in service to some party—whether an employer, a landlord, a social services agency, etc., for their own extractive interest—independent of any wage-labor relation.
Just as labor-power sequestration and procreative non-occupancy were rent-service exchanged by households for worker employment, so too is the childcare exchange.

That said, we should note that how such exchange manifests differs between conveyancée & perquistive class postures.
Perquisitive posture articulates resources—wealth, benefits, social capital—that render a loss of income as challenge rather than as the crisis the same change in condition would be for households of conveyancée posture.

So it is for a loss of childcare.

Where childcare loss tips precarity of housing, hearth or health—via income, benefits, compliance or otherwise—reproductive-power exchange is revealed as capture.

The conditions of reproductive-power themselves—shelter, food, medicine, custody of one's children—held as ransom.
By comparison, while childcare is rent-service, predominant material relation of perquistive posture is not rent-service, but perk-seeking, discretion-motive.

Thus, loss of childcare is—for perquisitive households—a loss of discretion, a loss of choices.

So then, to the original question, we can say thus:

In rentier society, childcare is exchange by household of reproductive-power for the sake of work, arising from the sequestration of residual labor-power.

Power relation rather than value production.

Where "value" is implicated—for those households of perquisitive class posture—is not as value produced by childcare, but rather as value already vested under discretion-motive, per the 𝘍𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘯 bargain, and exercised as childcare. Chit cashed in.

The intersection with class posture notwithstanding, we come down to this:

Childcare is an exchange of reproductive power.

Or more simply still: Care is an exchange of power.

That such power may be exchanged for value—exchange-value or otherwise—does not reduce power to value.

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More from @beadsland

11 Sep
Ah, the confidence of the activist white liberal that "humanity" is the problem, and that there's nothing wrong with citing to "humanity" as an explanation for the state of the world when so many of the vast majority of humans aren't the ones who brought us here.
Coming off a phone call w/ roommate's friend who kept insisting that "humanity is insane". Didn't even have the space to check them on the ableism there, they were so committed to it being the fault of "humanity" that the United States is handling both climate and covid so badly.
Should have politely excused myself from conversation when they got to Australia "doing so much worse".

Or maybe when they started dropping credentials of all the letter writing and petitioning operations they're a member of.

White usaian liberals will liberal usaian white.
Read 4 tweets

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