[OPE-L:2396] Re: Re: Re: Re: the employment contract and capitalism

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 10:17:13 EST

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Caro Ernesto
>From the point of view of the analitical distinction labor of coordination/labor
of control, and inasmuch as this distiction pertains to the analysis of the labor
process, does it make any difference who is executing it, except for the fact that
in the case of the working capitalist the whole profit of enterprise will "appear"
as the wage of management?
There was "team production" in Marx's analysis. Moreover: there was even an
analysis of how much collective work enhanced individual productivity (positive
emulation). It would be interesting to discuss whether or not the "team
production" you are refering to is something different or whether we are again
facing the well known "phenomena" of shedding theories on the basis of the same
Finally, Marx omniscience is neither an issue nor an argument. In fact, it seems
to me that since he was laying the "basis" for an understanding of the capitalist
system basic concepts should be retained in face of circunstancial and historical
Paulo Cipolla

Ernesto Screpanti wrote:

> Cipolla wrote wrote [in 2389]:
> >Regarding the role of supervisors in producing or not producing surplus
> value,
> >a debate that is engaging Jerry and Ernesto, the chapter on Profit of
> >Enterprise is certainly of some help. There Marx suggests that there are two
> >sides to the labor of supervision: one related to the antagonistic character
> >of the social relation under capitalism or any system based on social
> classes;
> >the other related to the labor of coordination, which in Marx's view is as
> >productive as a maestro is indispensable in an orquestra, that is, it is
> labor
> >which securs the coordination of a divided labor process. This two activities
> >may well be undertaken by a single person, in which case it is not certain
> >that, as Jerry says, workers will know in which side those supervisors
> >are. It is then the coordinating part of the labor of supervision that which
> >generates surplus value. The other part of his or her (most probably his)
> >labor is there to make sure that whatever was bought is used, be it a
> slave or
> >the labor of somebody for x number of hours: to make others produce surplus
> >does not make the slave-driver or the supervisor (under capitalism) to be the
> >producer of surplus (!) as Ernesto would like us to believe.
> >Cipolla
> When Marx speaks of the role of a Maestro in an orchestra he is talking of
> what he defines a "working capitalist" as distinguished from the capitalist
> as a shere owner of capital. He says that the role of the working
> capitalist is to direct the labour process to extract value from labour. He
> is the real capitalist, while the capitalist as a shere owner is no
> different from a rentier or a monetary capitalist. The latter earns an
> interest (and benefits from exploitation), the former, even if his income
> takes the form of a supervision salary, earns a real profit (and is the
> real exploiter). In general, see the extraordinary chapters 23 and 27 of
> Capital, III, where Marx anticipates Bearl & Means of more than a half
> century.
> The question I rised is different. I am talking of "team production", a
> notion uknwon to Marx (or at least not precisely known). There is team
> production when the productivity of any member of the team is not
> independent of that of the other members. In this case coordination is
> needed to obtain the highest possible productivity from the team activity
> (you cannot separate the productivity of the team members). Therefore the
> coordinator contributes to the production of surplus value !!of the team!!
> and you cannot separate his contribution from that of the other members.
> Bt the way, in the Roman system the slave-drivers were normally slave
> themselves. The owners used thenm to increase productivity.
> One could be tempted to distinguish a coordinatioin function from a control
> function, the latter intended to face information asymmetries (the slave or
> wage-earners tendency to "shirk"). But in team production shirking is a
> form of coordination failure, because the shirking of a team members lowers
> the productivity of other members too. The whip rises coordination!!, and
> thus the team productivity, in such a way - let me insist - that you cannot
> distinguish the production contribution of single membrs (including the
> coordinator).
> Hic Rhodus, hic salta.
> Marx is not omniscent. There are phenomena he did not know. Otherwise
> science should have stopped with Capital. You cannot investigate a lot of
> phenomena, that have been brought to light by recent research, by using
> instruments that were not construed for them.
> In solidarity,
> Ernesto
> Ernesto Screpanti
> Dipartimento di Economia Politica
> Piazza S. Francesco 1
> 53100 Siena
> tel: 0577 232784
> fax: 0577 232661

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