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Gil, how's this way of looking at it:
Competition is a market phenomenon. Suppose everything is marketized. Now
according to bourgeois theory of which Marx is evidently attempting an
immanent critique market competition should drive the market price of a
productive "agent" to the point where it no longer yields a value surplus.
Remember Duncan's question about slavery.
Why is not the price of slaves (or other 'fixed capital' like machines!)
paid by the capitalist at the time he invests bid up by the competition of
others eagerly seeking to capture the net surplus of rentals over cost--to
the point where no such surplus remains?
Now we know in the case of labor power, workers cannot 'wait' until they
are offered the net surplus over and above their costs of reproduction.
Given their sharp present time preference, the present price of their input
services must not only fall short of the value yielded in the future by
their productivity; they must also agree to preserve gratis the 'fixed'
and 'circulating' capital paid for the businessman at their respective full
values, as determined by said forces of competition.
But of course it is even worse than that; the laborer actually has to
advance his pay to the capitalist, for pay under capitalism is only a
ratification of time already spent. That the capitalist appears to pay him
is only the fetishism of wages, as my hero William J Blake underlines in
his pithy, though 700 pp summary, of Marx's work.
The rentals of labor power is of course labor itself, and workers, who are
doubly free in Marx's perverse sense, are in no position to demand that
they capture the surplus value from their services.
It seems that the only other alternative is to ascribe the phenomena of
interest in a market society to time or waiting in itself, to update Senior
with Bohm Bawerk or Fetter or someone. But we already know that wage funds
are not advanced against time. That's a myth. The worker advances his time
to the capitalist and is paid off *after* the hours are given.
Just as with Ajit's attempt to cut Marx in two, I am at a loss to your
continuing war against Marx's demonstration of why only workers, in
possession of its commodified labor power, will contract at a price that
will not allow them to claim the net surplus of rentals over costs.
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