[OPE-L:5499] Re: More Intense Labor

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Fri May 04 2001 - 16:25:57 EDT

Re Rakesh's [5498]:

>  If you burn yourself out, you need time to
> recuperate, i.e., not work.

Workers are not batteries.
All they need in a purely physiological sense to
recuperate from working intensively (provided
they are not injured on the job) is adequate time
for sleep.

> Your wage then has to be high enough to allow
> you to   take days off in order to heal yourself
> of wear and tear and thus  reproduce your labor
> power.

No. What is required is sleep, not days off.
Of course, workers can come to believe that
they need days off per week and weeks off
per year and this can (and does) then become
an issue in the class struggle. It is not (strictly
speaking) a physiological need, though.

> Then you are missing the obvious. Not
> additional time each day   necessarily but more
> days off  if the working day has become more
> intense.

This is neither obvious nor necessary.

> It's obvioulsy not just a matter of getting more
> time off per day   (though this is of course
> important); it's also a matter of vacation  time.

Once again -- no.

> And I truly don't get this point. the more
> intensively workers labor,
> the more non working time they need.

You keep saying this, which you deem to be
obvious, without any explanation.

> Again this is not the question. If after intensifying > the labor
> process the capitalists don't raise the wage so
> workers can afford
> more days off,

... there you go again: i.e. the same assertion
without explanation.

> There is not a necessary link between
> intensification and relative
> surplus value as long as we assume that relative > surplus value does
> not include the case of the depression of the
> wage below the value of   labor power.

The point I would make is that there is more
than one form of relative surplus value and simply
because we label an increase in labor intensity
as a form of increasing relative surplus value
does not mean that we can or should confuse
this form with the *predominant* form for
how relative surplus value is increased (i.e.
with labor-saving technical change). Indeed,
it is crucial to understand the difference in these
two forms as well as their difference from
absolute surplus value.

> How are you responding to the criticism I made > of your argument? You
said that intensification
> does not endanger the depression the wage
> below the level needed to meet certain
> physiological needs. I said
> that this was not clear at all. You are simply not > responding.

I already responded ... on numerous occasions.
For instance, yesterday I explained the _only_
(highly exceptional) circumstance in which
increasing labor intensity would necessarily
require additional consumption. As for your
new assertion about time off, see above.

>  Still there are caloric and other physical needs
> to be met. It's not  clear that intensification
> never endangers the workers vis a vis
> these needs.

Already discussed.

> I understand that given how Allin and Paul want > to measure the OCC,
> they have a good argument that an increase in the > annual rate of
> surplus value is just another expression of a
> reduced OCC, though I
> am still not satisfied with it and will thus have to
> come up with a
> better argument. But I don't understand what you > are saying in  response
to this.

I didn't say anything about that in this thread
since it concerns another thread and another

> Again the thesis under question is that
> intensification is ipso facto  a form of relative
> surplus value. I am arguing that this is not
> necessarily true.

Yes, I've heard you say that before.

> Again non responsive. Once the working hour
> of a laborer is twice as
> intense, there is an immediate change in the value > of labor power due
> if not to the need for a higher level of
> consumption then to the need
> for a shorter working day or more days off.

Already responded to.

In solidarity, Jerry

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