[OPE-L:5486] Re: Re: More Intense Labor

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Wed May 02 2001 - 21:47:07 EDT

re Jerry's 5473

>Re Rakesh's [5470]:
>>  If we assume that the more intense hour now
>>  determines the norm, then
>>  what we have in your case is a wage which is
>>  below the value of labor
>>  power.
>The 'norm' is the customary intensity of labor
>associated with a particular society during a
>particular historical period of time.  It can thus
>be thought of as an 'average' labor intensity
>for that society. Thus, a change in the intensity
>of labor at one firm, market, or sector does not
>"determine" the norm but can over time lead to
>a change in the norm. Therefore, it is not the
>'most intense' labor that determines the 'norm'.

Jerry, this is just evasion of what our argument is about. Of course 
this is true. I am only considering the case in which the more 
intense hour now becomes generalized.

>The norm can also be *lowered* by
>long-term reductions in labor intensity: thus,
>less intense labor can contribute to a change in
>the 'norm' just as a 'most intense' labor can
>contribute over time to a change in the norm.


>One must not forget when considering the
>intensity of labor that although capital seeks to
>constantly increase that intensity, labor
>constantly finds itself in struggle with capital over
>that issue and at a minimum seeks not to
>increase  the intensity of labor -- of course,
>they can also struggle to decrease the intensity
>of labor.


>>  Though with intensification a greater sum of
>>  use  values is  needed to reproduce labor
>>  power,

Consumption needs tend to be higher to repair the greater wear and 
tear on labor
from a more intensified labor process.

>>  you assume that there is no change
>>  in the real wage.
>Not exactly. All I am saying is that a change in
>the intensity of labor does not _necessarily_
>lead to a change in the real wage.

And I am not saying that it does. I am saying that an intensification 
of the labor process will tend to change the value of labor power.

>>  That is, you assume the wage now falls below
>>  the  value of labor power.
>No, an increase in the intensity of labor is
>consistent with the possibility that the wage
>equals the value of labor power.

I of course said that. I explicitly mentioned that only under certain 
conditions could intensification result in the production of relative 
surplus value even on the assumption that the wage remains equal to 
the value of labor power. But it is also possible--indeed 
likely--that intensification allows for extra surplus value because 
the wage has been pushed below the value of labor power.

>  What has
>changed isn't  necessarily the wage but nlt and

But necessary labor time will not likely fall to half of its previous 
level with a doubling of intensity because the value of labor power 
will be changed thereby. You simply don't respond to my point.


>In solidarity, Jerry

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