[OPE-L:2554] Repairing labor

From: Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.ac.kr)
Date: Sat Mar 18 2000 - 22:41:35 EST

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Dear Jerry

Do you remember we had once discussed on how the repairing labor was related to the structure of capital? You argued that it belonged to variable capital, but I did it to constant capital.
The follwoing is an excerpt from Capital volume II, which seems to support my point. It is from Chapter 8. I want your opinion.

"The fixed capital however requires also a positive expenditure of labour for its maintenance in good repair. The machinery must be cleaned from time to time. It is a question here of additional labour without which the machinery becomes useless, of merely warding off the noxious influences of the elements, which are inseparable from the process of production; hence it is a question of keeping the machinery literally in working order. It goes without saying that the normal durability of fixed capital is calculated on the supposition that all the conditions under which it can perform its functions normally during that time are fulfilled, just as we assume, in placing a man's life at 30 years on the average, that he will wash himself. It is here not a question of replacing the labour contained in the machine, but of constant additional labour made necessary by its use. It is not a question of labour performed by the machine, but of labour spent on it, of labour in which it is no!
t an agent of production but raw material. The capital expended for this labour must be classed as circulating capital, although it does not enter into the labour-process proper to which the product owes its existence. This labour must be continually expended in production, hence its value must be continually replaced by that of the product. The capital invested in it belongs in that part of circulating capital which has to cover the unproductive costs and is to be distributed over the produced values according to an annual average calculation."

With regards


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