[OPE-L:5493] Re: Re: More Intense Labor

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 12:02:18 EDT

re Jerry's 5489
>Re Rakesh's [5485]:
>>   I am arguing that intensification is not
>>  necessarily a form of relative surplus value:
>>  it can in some cases  represent a lengthening
>>  of the working day; in other cases it can
>>  allow for the wage to be depressed below the
>>  value of labor power;  and it can indeed in yet
>>  other cases be a form of relative surplus
>>  value.
>This represents a significant change in position
>since you now recognize that a change in labor
>intensity 'can'  be a form of relative surplus

This is a logical possibility. I grant this, but the more likely case 
is that intensification will yield the depression of the wage below 
the value of labor power which is itself changed by intensification. 
Also more likely than intensification resulting in a form of relative 
surplus value is intensification resulting in absolute surplus value. 
This obtains for those  capitalists who are successful in  enforcing 
a higher intensity than the average or customary intensity which then 

>  Good. Yet, I am unclear why your
>position has changed ....
>>  But you haven't understood the implications of
>>  your own point then. (snip, JL)
>>  this is non responsive. Once you agree that an
>>  hour is not any clock
>>  hour but an clock hour of average or
>>  customary intensity, then an
>>  hour of more intensified labor is simply more
>>  than an hour. This  follows from what you have
>>  written. (snip, JL)
>>  Again you have failed to think through the
>>  implications of your own argument. (snip, JL)
>>  non responsive.
>>  But you are the one trying to wiggle out from
>>  the consequences of  your repudiation of clock
>>  time.
>Rakesh -- I think I understand the implications
>of what I have been suggesting.

No I don't think you do. You are simply evading my point.

>  I'm not sure,
>though, if you understand the implications of
>your perspective.
>I have argued that what constitutes socially
>necessary labor time in determining value
>is not 'clock time'.  I discussed the meaning of
>'socially necessary labor time', indeed, in the
>context of a number of threads last month.
>One issue I discussed is how a change in the
>intensity of labor can change what constitutes
>SNLT and therefore what goes into the
>determination of value.
>Your position seems to be, if I understand you
>correctly, that changes in the intensity of labor
>are ongoing and continuous and that
>consequently changes in SNLT and what is
>value are ongoing and continuous.

My point is not this.

>I, of course,
>agree that there are often wide variations in the
>intensity of labor within any society and in the
>context of a particular period of history. I also
>agree that there are continuous and ongoing
>struggles in many thousands of worksites
>between capital and labor over the intensity of
>labor every day.

Again this doesn't respond to what I said. My point seems to have 
been lost in this reply as my reply was not cut and pasted into this 

>Thus, it seems that our difference amounts to
>the following:  while I agree that there are
>ongoing and continuous struggles over the
>intensity of labor, I also think that there is a
>'average' or 'customary' standard of intensity
>within each particular society that is taken to
>be 'given' in the short-run and only changes infrequently over the

My point about intensification sometimes resulting in absolute 
surplus value of course depends on this very point.

>  In making
>this distinction, I am asserting that changes in
>'customs' regarding the intensity of labor
>generally take a significant amount of time.

So? Where have I denied this?

>  In
>a similar vein, I would say that the 'moral'
>and 'cultural' components of the wage also
>take time for them to be accepted as the new
>norm. You seem to assert, though, that because
>labor intensity is on-going changes in SNLT and
>therefore value are also ongoing.

Where did I assert any such thing? There is variance in the intensity 
of the labor hours performed by workers. Those workers whose labor 
hours are more intense than the norm simply are doing more than a 
hour of (socially necessary) labor when they work for a (clock) hour. 
Do you deny this?

>  Indeed, I think
>that an instantaneous change in SNLT  is not
>only possible but likely from your perspective.

Where did I say this?

>Perhaps this difference in perspective can be
>related to our previous discussion about
>continuous and discontinuous changes in
>dynamic analysis.

No it's not related.


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