[OPE-L:8320] Re: Electronics and Value

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Sun Jan 12 2003 - 19:18:57 EST

Paul C asked in [8318]:

> > Re Paul C's [8304]:
> > > (snip, JL) world wide a see no evidence of 'labourless'
> > > production.
> > There are already numerous examples of factories without
> > any direct living labor required -- e.g. flexible manufacturing 
> > systems producing robotics.  
> Do they really employ nobody? No repair staff, no computer operators
> and programmers?

There is minimally 1 other person on (or near) the worksite: 
a person in an office somewhere looking at video monitors that offers
different angles of the shop floor or  is prepared to look at a monitor if
and when a light or a buzzer goes off.  That same person can serve 
as a security guard for the plant.   This was already being done on a 
very limited basis in the early 1980s.  One of the first applications of
an FMS was in a Japanese plant that produced industrial robotics.  

It is, of course, the case that living labor is required to deliver 
raw materials and intermediate goods to the factory floor (or, at
least, loading dock since there are automated systems which can move
those goods from shipping to the factory floor)  and move the
finished commodity from the factory to the market.  This is 
productive labor even though it isn't really 'direct' labor.  The level
of automation possible in the transport sector is not only dependent
though on investment by private capitalists in that sector but also
depends on the level of public investment by the state in a
transportation infrastructure.  No mode of transport (automobile,
truck,  airplane, ships)  infrastructure has yet been developed which
can allow for full automation in this area.

Solidarity, Jerry

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