[OPE-L:3437] Re: objectivity of value

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 08:35:41 EDT

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At 09:40 03/06/00 -0700, you wrote:

> From this
>perspective, Taylor was measuring necessary concrete labour (as a step
>toward compressing it) rather than the qualitatively equal labour that is
>visible only in the money-form. The question as to whether there is a high
>correlation between these which permits significant empirical
>investigations is separate from the theoretical question.

This is true only at the finest level of detail. Suppose he was analysing the
loading of pig iron, then that is certainly just 1 concrete task. As soon
as other tasks which go together to make up a complete production
process are added to obtain an estimate of the total number of workers
need to run a shift then Taylor was no longer dealing with concrete labour
but abstract labour - the expenditure of human energy irrespective of
its form. How many labourers of average ability did Bethlehem steel need to
employ in their works to achieve each thousand tons of output a week.

Such a total must necessarily involve adding up different concrete labour
times, but the very process of adding up and getting a total involves
from where the components came from.

There is nothing mysterious about this, nor does it involve any recourse
to social abstraction, it is merely a property of the addition operator in
arithmetic. Addition is information destroying. A sum contains less information
than its parts.

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