[OPE-L:8335] Re: Education and Value

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Tue Jan 14 2003 - 09:37:54 EST

Re Paul A's [8333]:

> * There are two quite distinct issues under the "reduction" from 
> complex to simple labor: a question of how to measure the value of 
> complex labor power relative to simple (expressed as relative wages), 
> and a question of whether capitalist development actually simplifies 
> complex labor by deskilling. On the former, presumably we can rely on 
> the relative amounts of "socially necessary labor time involved in 
> producing" the relevant capabilities. 

Like simple labor, I would say that what constitutes SNLT varies spatially 
and temporally.  This means that instead of there being one uniform 
standard for SNLT, there are many.  SNLT is a "moving target".

> On the latter, my view is, 
> obviously, not. (Just so I know where we're up to in this discussion: 
> do you really think deskilling is the dominant tendency?)

I think that 'deskilling' and 'upgrading' are both long-term historic 
processes.  Which of those tendencies is the dominant one may
vary conjecturally (and perhaps regionally).

> * Globally, I think we might agree that international competition 
> tends over the longer term to bring wages into closer alignment. As 
> imperialism reaches into less-developed regions to exploit low wages, 
> wages do tend to rise relative to advanced countries -- as we saw 
> with the "Asian tigers". The demands of capitalist industrialization 
> lead these countries to build their education system, upgrading the 
> country-specific standards of simple labor and the supply of complex 
> labor. (As you can see, my paleo- proclivities have led me close to 
> Bill Warren's position!) 

OK, I'll bite.  How is your position on imperialism different from 
Warren's?  Do you see imperialism as being responsible for the 
upgrading of workers skills internationally?

> The state and workers' movements can help or 
> hinder in this upgrading, and give it the skill-formation 
> institutions their specific shape.


> Are we moving forward in this?

If moving forward means in part that we are deepening our
discussion by extending it into other areas and challenging
our preconceptions, then I think the answer is  yes.  

Solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jan 15 2003 - 00:00:01 EST