[OPE-L:5266] Re: Re: 's' is for surplus value (not surplus product)

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@msn.com)
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 20:33:52 EST

Re Gil's [5265]:

> Where does Marx say that employment of
> wage-labor by capital is part of the *definition*
> of surplus value?

Surplus-value is more than a quantity -- it
represents a "specific social relation of production"
(Vol 3, Penguin ed., p. 957.  Note "specific".

Employment of wage-labor by capital is already
implied on p. 1 of Volume 1 -- well before
the presentation (i.e. reconstruction in thought)
of surplus-value.  Thus: "What is implied already
in the commodity, and still more so in the commodity as a product of
capital, is the
reification of the social determinations of
production and the subjectification
[Versubjektifierung] of the material bases of
production which characterize the entire
capitalist mode of production" (Ibid, p. 1020).

Thus, already in the category of the commodity
as a product of capital is presupposed the
wage labor/capitalist social relation. Shortly
before the above passage, Marx notes [in regard
to "two characteristic traits (which, JL) mark the
capitalist mode of production right from the start"]
that "It produces its products as commodities"
and that "... this means, first of all, that the
worker himself appears only as a seller of
commodities, and hence as a free labourer --
i.e. labour generally appears as wage-labour".
He goes on to add "... the relationship of
capital and wage-labour determines the whole
character of the mode of production. The
principal agents of this mode of production
itself, the capitalist and the wage-labourer,
are as such simply embodiments and
personifications of capital and wage-labour --
specific social characters that the social
production process stamps on individuals,
products of these specific social relations
of production" (Ibid, pp. 1019-1020).

Note the following: "the two above characters
of the product as commodity and the commodity
as capitalistically produced commodity give rise
to the *entire determination of value and the
regulation of the total production by value"
(Ibid, emphasis added, JL).  The determination
-- and definitions -- of value *and surplus value*
are based on the character of the commodity
in the two-fold sense of being both a product
and a *capitalistically produced* commodity.

And, Marx continues (p. 1021): "It is *only*
because labour is presupposed in the form of
wage-labour, and the means of production
in the form of capital (i.e. *only* as a result
of this specific form of these two essential
agents of production), that *one part of the
value (product) presents itself as surplus-
value and this surplus-value presents itself
as profit (rent)*, the gains of the capitalist, as
additional available wealth belonging to him."

While he goes on to say (next page) that:
"Even though the form of wage-labour is
decisive for the shape of the entire process
and for the specific mode of production
itself, it is not wage-labour that is value-
determining. What matters in the determination
of value is the overall social labour-time ...."
he goes on to *add*  "But the particular
social form in which social labour-time plays
its determinant role in the value of commodities
coincides  with the form of labour as wage-
labour ....".

Well ... enough for now. Time to take a break.

Others are welcome to add their 2 cents .... (notice
how our  phrases used in communication tend
to be expressed in a manner consistent with  the value-form).

In solidarity, Jerry

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