[OPE-L:3384] Re: Re: Gil's necessary conditions

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Date: Tue May 30 2000 - 23:38:25 EDT

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Oops. Let me correct a (minor) mistake in my reply to Mike L. before he
does it for me. I suggested that the first of Marx's two arguments
concerning the rate of accumulation in Ch. 25 of V. I. implies the creation
of an industrial reserve army. It doesn't. But happily, that doesn't
affect my conclusion that the specific intervention of the *state* in the
labor market is unnecessary to regulate the rate of capital accumulation
such that wages are kept within limits consistent with the reproduction of
the capitalist system. I couldn't put it any better than Marx does:

"If the quantity of unpaid labour supplied by the working class and
accumulated by the capitalist class increases so rapidly that its
transformation into capital requires an extraordinary addition of paid
labour, then wages rise and, all other circumstances remaining equal, the
unpaid labour diminishes in proportion. **But as soon as this diminution
touches the point at which the surplus labour that nourishes capital is no
longer supplied in normal quantity, a reaction sets in: a smaller part of
revenue is capitalized, accumulation slows down, and the rising movement of
wages comes up against an obstacle.** [And now the kicker--GS] The rise of
wages is therefore confined within limits that not only leave intact the
foundations of the capitalist system, but also secure its reproduction on
an increasing scale. The law of capitalist accumulation...in fact
expresses the situation that the very nature of accumulation excludes
***every diminution in the degree of exploitation of labour, and every rise
in the price of labour, which could seriously the continual reproduction,
on an ever larger scale, of the capital relation."


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