[OPE-L:5457] Re: Re: Re: More Intense Labor

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 18:50:27 EDT

Re Rakesh's [5455]:

> Gil, I think if we understand increased intensity
> as a defacto extension of the working day,
> (snip, JL)

It's not a lengthening of the working day, though.
I.e. with an increased intensity of labor, more
output is being produced even when the length
of the working day remains constant.

> . In other words, I am asking
> whether intensification is best understood in
> terms of an increase in
> absolute surplus value (lengthening of the
> working day)rather than in
> relative surplus value (reduction of necessary
> labor time).

Like an increase in surplus value due to technical
change, an increase in the intensity of labor
increases the productivity of labor. And, yes,
an increase in the intensity of labor means that
the proportion of the working day divided
between necessary labor time and surplus labor
time is altered. This is because with an increase
in the intensity of labor the amount of time
required for workers to create value equivalent
to the value of labor power (assumed here to
equal the wage -- although in practice wages
fluctuate around the VLP) is reduced.

It is in the *effects* of an  increase in relative
surplus value due to increasing intensity of labor
or  labor-saving technical change that they
differ. I.e. the former (an increase in the intensity
of labor) does not increase the organic
composition of capital; the latter form does 
increase the OCC. Thus, they differ as well in
terms of their affect on the rate of profit (the
former is a counter-acting tendency; the
latter is a mechanism through which the
LTGRPD operates).

In solidarity, Jerry

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