Re: [OPE-L] The Use-Value & SNLT Question

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Tue Apr 10 2007 - 20:34:27 EDT

On Tue, 10 Apr 2007, Jerry Levy wrote:

> > > "... all wasteful consumption of raw material or instruments of
> > > labour is strictly forbidden, because what is wasted in this way
> > > represents a superfluous expenditure of quantities of
> > > objectified labour, labour that does not count in the product or
> > > enter into its value".
> > It seems to me that Marx is talking here of wastage that is over
> > and above the "socially necessary" rate.
> It seems to me that you didn't take note of how the excerpt above
> begins with  *all*.

I took notice of it, but discounted it as obvious hyperbole on
Marx's part.  Show me a capitalist who wastes nothing.

> It is true that a certain amount of wastage in a particular
> branch of production may come to be considered to be customary,
> but this is related to other questions, such as whether the
> labor cost to reduce the wastage of materials is greater or
> lesser than the resulting savings in material cost.  This has
> environmental implications.

It's not just a matter of a certain amount of wastage becoming
"customary" (though that may happen).  It's a matter of a certain
amount of wastage being optimal.  Yes, there may be environmental
implications.  A socialist economy might decide to minimize
wastage in certain production processes even if this requires a
greater total unit labour input.  But no capitalist is going to
calculate that way, pace Marx.


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