Re: [OPE-L] The lump of surplus value fallacy and the Moseley paradox

From: Dave Zachariah (davez@KTH.SE)
Date: Fri Jan 11 2008 - 20:32:03 EST

on 2008-01-11 23:13 Philip Dunn wrote:
> Domestic service as unproductive labour is uncontested (AFAIK). However,
> in this case, no question of addition or subtraction arises. The wages
> of the capitalist's domestic servants are paid out of surplus value, but
> do not reduce or increment surplus value in any way. The capitalist
> simply chooses to spend income in this way.
> I have never understood quite why it is thought that any capitalist
> businesses are unproductive or that there can be some unproductive waged
> workers employed in such businesses. Is the PA who buys the birthday
> present for the boss's wife unproductive in that activity?

 From the standpoint of a capitalist firm its workforce is 'productive'
if it is profitable. However, when one considers the capitalist economy
as a whole it becomes evident that the output of some sectors are at the
expense of the surplus created in others. The latter sectors are
productive, the former are merely parasitic on them. This includes the
financial sector, advertisement, armament etc.

In short, productive labour is that labour whose output directly or
indirectly goes into the reproduction of the working class.

Paul C and I have written an article on this, published in Science and
Society. You can find a copy here:

//Dave Z

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