[OPE-L:5431] the intensity of labor and surplus value (again)

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 09:55:20 EDT

In [5428] Paul C wrote:

> The only three ways the rate of surplus value
> can change are
> 1. changes in the length of the working day
> 2. cheapening or dearing of the wage bundle in
> labour terms
> 3. changing the wage bundle in real terms

These are not the 'only' ways in which the
rate of surplus value can change: the rate of
surplus value will also change when there is
a change in the intensity of labor.

As we have discussed previously, there are
*international and regional* variations in the
intensity of labor which then lead to international
and regional variations in the rate of surplus value.

The intensity of labor, I would suggest, also
varies over the course of the *business cycle*,
e.g. the bargaining power of management
vis-a-vis labor tends to be increased with the 
increase in the industrial reserve army that 
accompanies the contraction which helps to 
increase management's ability to squeeze more 
surplus value out of workers be speeding them 

The assumption that there is a uniform intensity
of labor is defied by capitalists the world
over who constantly seek (with varying rates
of success and failure) to increase the intensity
of labor.  Capitalists and workers both
recognize the importance of struggles over the
intensity of  labor -- so should we.

In solidarity, Jerry

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