(OPE-L) Re: value, labour and conservation laws

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 14:11:08 EDT

Paul C wrote on Thursday, May 22:

> But would add that a key factor of human labour is its
> flexibility we are 'RUR', we are the universal robot,
> the universal worker. What gives abstract labour
> a reality is this human adapability. This is why the
> labour of horses or cattle, useful though they have
> been to farmers and teamsters, can not be treated
> as abstract except in the abstract sense of horse-power.

I don't think that the 'flexibility' of human labor is
quite as clear-cut as you suggest.  Rather than being a
'universal robot', the labor process is designed taking
into consideration the real-life limitations of human
beings.  Unlike robots, we need sleep, food, and a paricular
work environment, e.g. we are constrained by heat, noise,
radiation, etc.  Of course, to a great degree some of these
obstacles can be overcome by protective clothing, etc. --
but, the point remains, that there are limits to the
'flexibility' of human labour. Some of these limits can be
partially overcome by the additional flexibility that robots
have over human beings in regards to the performance of
certain, but not all, tasks.

In solidarity, Jerry

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