Re: [OPE-L] workers' consumption and capitalists' consumption

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Jun 08 2006 - 05:45:26 EDT

>>This is my own thinking; Marx himself is vague about this point.
>Yes, that's one reason why it makes an interesting question.
>>Whereas he makes detailed arguments in chapter 8 why the value
>>of the means of production is transferred to the end product,
>>he does not make such arguments regarding labor-power
>>but simply says in chapter 6 that
>>>the labor-time necessary for the production of labor-power
>>>resolves itself into that necessary for the production of
>>>those means of subsistence; in other words, the value of
>>>labor-power is the value of the means of subsistence
>>>necessary for the maintenance of its owner.
>>(my own translation).  "Resolves" is a very vague formulation
>>which can mean many things.
 I dont see that any of this is very complicated.
What one is trying to do is work out how much of society's total time
must be expended to produce a product.
If one wants to work out how much time goes into
the production of bread for example, one has
to ignore the labour content of  the bread eaten by the bakers themselves
or one would end up with the   value of the net product of society
that is greater than the total number of hours worked. Worse
than that, your accountig system would make it appear
that the value of the social product grew uncontrolably even
if the labour force was fixed. Each year you would be attributing
to the consumer goods, the value of the consumer goods eaten
the previous year giving rise to an unlimited inflation in your
system of valuation.

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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